The Bleichröder Connection

In August 1991, my uncle Andreas FREUND (1925, Breslau - 1996, Paris) finished the original version of his "Chronique Familiale", a family history of the FREUND, IMMERWAHR, SILBERSTEIN, BACH, PERL and associated collateral families -- written in French for the primary benefit of our French cousins.   I am no longer certain, but I think it took me a couple years before I noticed this sentence at the start of two paragraphs about Gerson von BLEICHRÖDER (p.19):

"Les célébrités reliés aux Freund par une parenté plus ou moins lointaine via l'une ou l'autre des branches citées, comprennent encore, au siècle dernier, le baron Bleichröder qui, un peu comme les barons Périere à Paris auprès de Napoléon III, fut le banquier au roi de Prusse Guillaume 1er, futur empereur de toute l'Allemagne."

I do not recall whether I ever asked Andreas about the family story that there was a connection to the famous Gerson BLEICHRÖDER (1822-1893).  I do not think I did.  Even if there were no other details to back up the story (I would guess there were none), I regret not asking about the source of the story -- was it his father / my grandfather, or some other member of the FREUND or IMMERWAHR family?

By 1997, I had put a note in the family tree under Marie GUTTENTAG, wife of Otto IMMERWAHR (1836-1867):  "sister (?) of bank director Gerson Bleichroder".  That was close to the beginning of my interest in the GUTTENTAG families of Breslau and Silesia.

It was not until 2002 that I found the first helpful clue (well, it must have been the second clue after the tip that Marie GUTTENTAG was a part of the story).  That was when I reviewed the "Bleichroeder Family Collection" in the archives of the Leo Baeck Institute in New York (file no. AR 6410).  There, I learned that Gerson BLEICHRÖDER's wife was Emma GUTTENTAG from Breslau.  Her parents were the Breslau banker Loebel GUTTENTAG and Fanny WIENER

I must not have known Emma's birth year because I speculated that it was about 1825 (since Gerson was born in 1822), and I speculated that Marie was born about 1840, since her husband Otto was born in 1836.  Adding speculation on top of speculation, I wondered whether Emma and Marie would turn out to be aunt/niece or sisters.

In 2003, in Breslau Jewish community birth data, I found information on the family of Loebel GUTTENTAG and Fanny WIENER.  There was information on 4 other children, Bertha, Ida, Agnes and Julius.  Emma's birth was not mentioned in the birth lists -- and neither was Marie.

The next step came in 2009 when Don and I visited the Schönhauser Allee Jewish cemetery in Berlin.  We went there after learning at the Weissensee cemetery that Dorothea MARCUS geb. SILBERSTEIN (1805-1887) was not buried there, but in the Schönhauser Allee cemetery.  The burial information for Dorothea did give the grave location, so when we got to the Schönhauser Allee cemetery, we just wandered all around.  Among the gravestones we saw where those for Gerson and Emma BLEICHRÖDER.   This only added her birth and death dates -- showing that Emma was either a twin sister to Bertha (or for some reason Bertha (Blume) became known as Emma).

With Emma born in 1830, the likely age gap between Emma and Marie dropped from about 15 years to only 10 years.  That is where things stood until last Sunday.

Back in January 2012, thanks to a cousin and friend in Dallas, I learned about a great initiative underway in Europe to digitiize and post online archival files from Judaica collections across the continent, called Judaica Europeana.  One of the participating archive is the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw (JHI - ZIH in Polish) -- which has scanned and posted its files from the Breslau Jewish community.

The file I opened last week was "Legat des Löbel Guttentag" (file no. 105_0762c).  Löbel’s will lists his wife Fanny, geb. Wiener and children Bertha Sachs, Emma Bleichröder, Marie Immerwahr and Julius.  There was the answer I had been hoping to find for over 15 years, and which had caused me pay special attention to GUTTENTAG family information all that time.  Marie and Emma were sister after all (and Emma and Bertha were not the same person).

With that confirmation, the connection of my family to Gerson von BLEICHRÖDER was really rather close; particularly from the perspective of Andreas' father / my grandfather who might have been Andreas' source for the story.  For Dr. Walther FREUND (1874-1952), the link was as close as his uncle Otto's sister-in-law's husband.

Mystery solved.

(The phrase "Andreas' father / my grandfather" is used in tribute to my uncle Andreas who liked to sprinkle his conversation with such references, particularly, "my sister / your mother".)


"Stammbaum der Familie Falk"

"Stammbaum der Familie Falk", Paul Dobrin (Breslau 1937)

A crucial element behind much of my genealogy research has been the "Stammbaum der Familie Falk", a small, black book of bound typed sheets (typed using carbon paper, it seems), one family group per page.  "Kapitel" after "Kapitel", starting with the family of R. Jacob Jehuda Loebel FALK, the Dyhernfurther Rav, his third wife Sara NAUMBURG, and their 11 children (who lived to adulthood), the book outlines the whole FALK family as compiled by the Breslau genealogist Paul DOBRIN -- the whole family as of 1937.

The first knowledge of the Falk Stammbaum came to us before the "me part of us" was aware of family history beyond, perhaps, the fact that the family had lived in California before I came along.  Back then in the mid 1960s, my brother Don's interest in genealogy was budding and getting support from our aunt Eva WULKAN geb. FALK (1911-2005) in Chicago.  Eva knew that her second cousin Max LEVY (1893-1970) had a copy of the Falk Stammbaum, and in response to specific questions from Don, she would write to Max and convey the answers to Don.  The fate of Max LEVY's copy of the Falk Stammbaum is not known.

When our great uncle Siegfried FALK ("Onkel Siegfried") (1888-1969) died in Wellington, New Zealand, his widow Tante Lo sent oil portraits of Siegfried's parents Emanuel FALK (1832-1906) and Johanna KALISCHER (1845-1929) to my father, and I believe that Onkel Siegfriend's copy of the Falk Stammbaum arrived with the portraits.

I do not know what Don did with the Falk Stammbaum when it first came to our home, and to him as the family genealogist, but I remember paging through it, wondering what a "Kapitel" was, learning its organization system (which always seemed cumbersome), finding the page with my father, his sister and their parents, and noticing a few things:
* the Meyer - Wilhelm - Meyer- Wilhelm naming pattern that turned out to lead from R. Jacob Jehuda Loebel FALK's son to Wilhelm (Ze'ev) FALK (1923-1998) of Jerusalem;
* that the last child in Kapitel 1, Aidel FALK, with no birth date, could not be among the last children (births in the 1830s) because she had a son in 1827; and
* that my father was 43 when I was born, and his father was 44 when he was born, and his grandfather was 43 when his father was born, and his great grandfather was 64 when his grandfather was born.

If there are any loyal readers, I would refer them to the blog entry of 8 May 2011 which contains my history with the Stammbaum der Familie Falk.  One thing not included there is the story which my beloved cousin Prof. Dr. Ze'ev W. FALK told me on his first visit to us in Wayne, Pennsylvania about the origins of the Falk Stammbaum.  According to Ze'ev the Stammbaum was commissioned by the wealthy KROCH banking family as a means of keeping track of the whole FALK family, in order to send family members, annually, writings of the late R. Jacob Loebel KROCH (1815-1897), wife of Bertha FALK (1816-1904), daughter of the Dyhrenfurther Rav.

But another part of the story of the Falk Stammbaum is what became of all the copies which were distributed to family members back in 1937.  There was Max LEVY's copy - where is it now?  There was Onkel Siegfried's copy (now in Wayne, PA).  My recollection is that Ze'ev had the copy of his father Dr. Meyer FALK (1891-1972).

The first new copy I saw (I think) was in Brooklyn when I met R. Dovid BIRNBAUM in 1999.  He received his copy from his father Daniel BIRNBAUM who received it from cousin Gerhard GLUSKINOS who received it from his father Willi GLUSKINOS (1881-1965).  This was not a formal book version, but whole-punched pages with a metal binder, in a fitted cardboard box.  I believe it was a typed version.

The next copy was in Jerusalem with the KADMON family.  I believe that this is a handwritten copy with information from as late as 1938.  I assume that this was the copy of Martin WOLFSOHN (1890-1970).

I suspect that I am currently not remembering some of the other copies that have come to light in the last 16 years of research.

But the most recently learned of copy was (along with Don) the prompt for this blog entry.  Don told me today that when he met our cousin Ariel in Buenos Aires a couple weeks ago, Ariel said that he has his mother's copy of the Falk Stammbaum -- a black-bound typed copy like ours.  I assume that this was the copy of Hans Meyer KROCH (1887-1870).

(It is probably not significant that so many original holders of the Falk Stammbaum died in the short period from 1969 to 1972...  But even the not-noteworthy can be noted.)

There must be more copies out there yet to be seen.

Twenty years ago, on my Mac SE, I entered the whole content of the "Stammbaum der Familie Falk" into the then-current version of the Reunion (v 2.0 ?) genealogy software.  The significantly updated family tree is still maintained in the significantly updated Reunion program (v 9.0), just waiting for a slightly fuller sense of completion to publish it in some form on the internet.


Jaroslaw's and the JAROSLAWs - History of a Family and a Corporation

25 March 2012

In November 1996, thanks to Simon S. in Berlin, I learned about an entirely "new" branch of my family -- the SCHREIBER family descended from the sister of my great great grandmother Sara FALK geb. NAUMBURG (ca.1787-1851), Hinde SCHREIBER geb. NAUMBURG (ca.1784-ca.1818) and R. Benjamin SCHREIBER (1779-1839), rabbi in Schrimm and Grätz.   That tree included their son Meier SCHREIBER, married to Ernestine (Ester) MITTWOCH, who had a daughter Friederike (Frieda) who married David JAROSLAW and had the children Hedwig and Benno.

That is where things stood for over a decade.

In 2010, from a partial list of gravestones of the Lohestrasse (ul. Slezna) Jewish cemetery in Breslau, I learned that Friederike died on 18 August 1875, at the age of just 32.

And, that is where things stood until last week.

My last blog entry described learning that my grandmother Gertrud FALK geb. RAPHAELSOHN (1886-ca.1943) had been put into forced labor for the firm Scherb & Schwer KG.   That led me to try to learn about the company that had taken advantage of my grandmother (and so many others) during the last year or two of her life, before she was deported to Auschwitz and murdered.

A website on the components used to make the Enigma machine ("Hellschreiber") included information on Scherb & Schwer as one of the component manufacturers.  The firm Scherb & Schwer was the "Arjan" successor company to the formerly Jewish-owned company Jaroslaw's Erste Glimmer-Waren Fabrik.

The history of Jaroslaw's can be traced, in a limited way, through Berliner Adressbücher entries:
1882          - no entry
1883-1891 - Inhaber C. Jaroslaw  [seems to be Clara Jaroslaw, geb. Fürst]
1892-1897 - Inhaber D. Jaroslaw 
1898-1903 - Inhaber D. Jaroslaw & Dr. B. Jaroslaw
1904          - Inhaber  [not given]                 (entries for David and Dr. Benno)
1905-1909 - Inhaber  [not given]                 (entries for Ww. Clara and Dr. Benno)
1910          - Inhaber Jaroslaw'sche Erben (entry for Ww. Clara; and a Bernhard)

1911-1912 - Inhaber  [not given]                 (entries for Ww. Clara and Dr. Benno)
1913-1925 - Inhaber Jaroslaw'sche Erben (entry for Dr. Benno)
1926          - Inhaber Jaroslaw'sche Erben (entry for Ww. Else geb. Lobrina)
1927-1930 - Inhaber [not given]                 (entry for Ww. Else geb. Lobrina)
1931-1940 - Inhaber [not given]                 (no Jaroslaw family entries)
1941          - no entry  [see, Scherb & Schwer KG]

After Friederike died (1875), David JAROSLAW got remarried to Clara FÜRST.   It is not clear who formed Jaroslaw's since the earliest directory entries list Clara as the proprietor.  An entry in "Handelsblatt der Chemiker-Zeitung" by Georg Krause (Vol. 6) (Coethen 1882) mentions the company as being in Berlin, but with "Inhaber" Clara Jaroslaw, geb. Fürst being in Breslau.  The family seems to have moved to Berlin around 1883.  (The family was living in Breslau from at least 1870 when David JAROSLAW is listed:  Gold- u. Silberarb., Schwedn. Straße 45 I. -- they are not listed in the 1868 directory.)

The confirmation that the JAROSLAW family of Jaroslaw's was the same as the family of David JAROSLAW and Friederke SCHREIBER came from the "Vita" section at the end of Benno JAROSLAW's published dissertation, "Bestimmung der Löslichkeit von Jod in einigen organischen Flüssigkeiten" (1895) [Determination of the Solubility of Iodine in Organic Liquids]:

"Natus sum Benno Jaroslaw anno MDCCCLXXIII die VII. m. Mai Vratislaviae patre Davido, matre Frederica e gente Schreiber.  Quae cum praematura morte nobis erepta esset, pater Claram e gente Fuerst in matrimonium duxit, quam vivam magnopere veneror. Fidei addictus sum iudaicae. ..."

Another connecting and confirming clue, was the 1905 passenger list from a trip that Dr. Benno JAROSLAW took to the US.  He traveled from Dover, England to New York, NY on the S.S. Hamburg on 19 May 1905.  He is listed as a 32-year-old ( single man, a "manufacturer" living in Friedenau near Berlin.

This ties in nicely with the information in the National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1861-1941, with information on the death of David JAROSLAW:

"JAROSLAW David of "Friedenau" 60 Frege-strasse Berlin Germany died 19 November 1903 Administiration (with Will) (Limited) London 8 October to Leopold Van der Velde merchant the attorney of Clara Jaroslaw widow Effects  £1765 11s. 2d."

The Berliner Adressbücher entries further suggest that Benno was married to Else LUBRINA and that Benno died in 1925 or early 1926.

Based on British patent office records, the "Jaroslaw'sche Erben" seem to have included not just David's widow Clara and son Dr. Benno JAROSLAW, but also two other women.  This bibliographic data from one British patent, for example:

  • Title:  "Method of Manufacturing Plastic Masses from Albuminous Substances, Like Casein" Patent No.: GB272947
    Assignees:  Schröder, Richard, Schröder, (née Jaroslaw), Meta, Jaroslaw, (née Labrinus), Else, and Levis, (née Jaroslaw), Sophie, (trading as Jaroslaw's Erste Glimmerwaren-Fabrik in Berlin). June 17, 1926
includes Meta SCHRÖDER geb. JAROSLAW and Sophie LEVIS geb. JAROSLAW.  Since Benno was single in 1905 (when he sailed to the US), and Meta and Sophie were married adults by 1926, I assume they were half-sisters of Benno; presumably, the daughters of David JAROSLAW and his second wife Clara geb. FÜRST.

So, far I have not uncovered what became of Benno's sisters and I do not know if he and Else had children.  There was a Sophie LEVIS ( who sailed to England in 1934 on the S.S. Barrabool; her last permanent residence was given as Palestine.  But for now, the information on the JAROSLAW family that owned the company that later came to "employ" my grandmother, essentially ends with the expropriation of their business.


That was then. This is now.

 20 March 2012

Sometime in the 1990s, the German electronics company Siemens AG, or its US subsidiary Siemens Corporation, started to advertise using the slogan "That was then. This is now."   Hearing and seeing that slogan aggravated my aunt Eva Wulkan, geb. Falk (1911-2005) in Chicago because it reminded Eva of her mother's forced labor (Zwangsarbeit) in Berlin from 1941/1942 until her deportation to Auschwitz on 29 January 1943.  With its directive to think about Siemens' history, the slogan readily took Eva (and then me) back to the 1940s and Siemens' involvement in the Nazi war effort and its role in using Jewish forced labor.  Eva always said that her mother had been in forced labor for Siemens.

In May 2008, in Berlin, after visiting the deportation memorial at the Grunewald Station, I learned that Gertrud FALK, geb. RAPHAELSOHN (1886-ca.1943), my grandmother (mother of Eva and my father) was not deported from that location.  Rather, Transport 27 left from the Berlin-Moabit freight station under the Putitzbrücke.  (As I have since learned, Transport 27 arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau on 30 January 1943 at 10:58 am, after a 17½ hour journey.  Immediately upon arrival, 140 women and 140 men were separated and interned in the Camp, and 724 were murdered in the gas chambers of Birkenau.  We still do not know which group our grandmother was in, though I tend to assume she was part of the latter set.)

When the S-Bahn loop trains pass the area of the Putitzbrücke, you can see the huge "Siemensstadt" a bit further to the north.  This seemed to fit the family narrative with Gertrud in forced labor for Siemens and then deported from a location not far the Siemens factories.  That was then.

The first seed of doubt about the Siemens angle came a few years ago when I contacted Siemens to learn whether they had archival records regarding the people used for forced labor.  I learned they did have such records, but when they looked for information about Gertrud, her name did not appear in their records.  This was not conclusive, but it opened up the possibility that our family memory was not correct.

When my brother Don and I were in Berlin in late October 2011, we made great discoveries about Gertrud's mother, our great grandmother Ida RAPHAELSOHN, geb.  JACOBSOHN.  Learning where Ida was living when she died on 12 Feb 1939 - Duisburger Straße 8 (Wilmersdorf) (with her son Hugo and her youngest daughter Else), Don and I went by that address on the Saturday before our date with cousins Katja and Barbara in Berlin-Westend.  Fresh with our discoveries, we told Katja and Barbara all about it.  Katja mentioned that her archivist friend Sonja might be able to provide more details about our RAPHAELSOHN family members who had lived in Wilmersdorf.  I jotted down the names and last-known addresses of Hugo, Gertrud (FALK), Helene (JACOBY) and Else and left them with Katja.

Six weeks later, I received information from Sonja via Katja about Hugo, Helene and Else.  The new information included the fact that Helene and Else had been in forced labor for a company called Elektro Glimmer und Presswerke Scherb & Schwer KG in Weißensee.  The company manufactured capacitors and other 1940s electronic components. The plant at Lehderstraße 34/35 was just over 1 km west of the Weißensee cemetery.

There was no new information about Gertrud, since she had lived in Schöneberg, not in Wilmersdorf.  Nevertheless, I immediately wondered whether Gertrud had worked at the same place as her sisters.  There may have been something reassuring about the possibility that she was with, or relatively near, her sisters during this increasingly difficult period of forced labor.

Sonja was kind enough (among all her kindnesses) to forward my inquiry about Gertrud to her colleague Hannelore (another kind soul) who works with the Stolpersteine project in Berlin-Schöneberg.   This led to the easy decision to request a Stolperstein to be prepared and laid in the sidewalk outside Motzstraße 47, Gertrud's last address before she was deported.  And that unleashed the formidable research energy, skill and determination of Hannelore in the service of uncovering details about Gertrud's life in Berlin.  Just yesterday (19 March 2012), Hannelore's research led to this note:

I had now access to the records of your grandmother Gertrud in the so-called Brandenburgisches Landeshauptarchiv.  Among the files there is the so-called "Vermögenserklärung" (Declaration of Property) your grandmother filled in.  Now we have full evidence that your grandmother was forced to compulsory labour in the same company like her sister Helene as you already supposed. She writes in the column "Last employment": "Scherb & Schwer Weissensee at a wage of 16,-- RM a week".

This is now -- another puzzle piece found.  Siemens has culpability for its Nazi-era actions, but they are not directly implicated in crimes against my grandmother Gertrud.  That honor falls on Scherb & Schwer and its successors in interest, including Richard Jahre GmbH which acquired Scherb & Schwer in 1979.

This trail could end here, but one thing always leads to another.   According to a website on the components used to make the Enigma machine ("Hellschreiber"), Scherb & Schwer was one of the contributing companies (even if "the prime manufacturer of the Hellschreiber was Siemens-Halske").  The firm Scherb & Schwer was the "Arjan" successor company to the formerly Jewish-owned company Jaroslaw's Erste Glimmer-Waren Fabrik.  Based on Berliner Adressbücher entries, Jaroslaws was founded by Dr. Benno JAROSLAW ( before the First World War.

A new question:  Was this Dr. Benno JAROSLAW the same person as Benno JAROSLAW, son of David JAROSLAW and Friederike SCHREIBER (1842-1875)?  Friederike was a second cousin of Gertrud's husband Hermann FALK (1875-1932), my grandfather.

 1940 Berliner Adressbuch

1941 Berliner Adressbuch



Berlin 1939 / Berlin 2011

2 November 2011

Having inherited a great RAPHAELSOHN family tree from the work of Dr. Richard (Dick) PLOTZ, I had not worked much on my father's mother's family history.   From time to time, I would notice that the family of the mother of my grandmother Gertrud FALK geb. RAPHAELSOHN (1886-ca.1943) was almost unknown.   My great grandmother Ida RAPHAELSOHN, geb. JACOBSOHN was just a name and date, with no information about what she was like, or where she was from, or who her parents were.

I noticed this deficiency again last year when I happened to stumble upon some new information about Ida's husband's RAPHAELSOHN family.  That inspired me to write to the city archives in Allenstein, West Prussia, now Olzstyn, Poland on 18 Oct 2010.   I wrote to request a copy of Ida's death certificate, since I assumed she was living in Allenstein when she died on 12 Feb 1939.  On 6 Feb 2011,  I received a reply from the Olsztyn archive that told me that they did not have the German records from 1939, but that they should be in the archive of Berlin Standesamt I.   I immediately wrote to Standesamt I, but did not receive a reply (as of October 2011).

When Don's and my trip to Berlin and Silesia was getting close, I remembered my search for Ida's death certificate and I asked my cousin Inge in Berlin if she could confirm that Standesamt I was the right place to find Allenstein records from 1939.  She was able to confirm that, but she also learned that it can take 1-2 years to receive a reply to a written inquiry.  On the other hand, if you visit the office, you can leave with the results right away (more or less).  Unfortunately, since the office is only open on Mondays and Tuesdays, we had to decide whether to sacrifice some of our research time at the Centrum Judaicum for this cause.

We decided to do that.   As Inge recommended, we arrived early and got Nr. 4 from the pile of number cards on the table in the waiting area.  After about 30 minutes, we told the clerk what we wanted and filled out a form to request Ida's death certificate.   Two and a half hours later, the result was in.  A very nice man told us that they had not been able to find anything related to Ida RAPHAELSOHN, geb. JACOBSOHN.  They assured us that they looked on dates before and after the date we had given them.  We walked back to the Gesundbrunnen S-Bahn station to work our way back to Oranienburgerstrasse and the start of our research at the Centrum Judaicum.

That failure was very disappointing.  On the way to the Centrum Judaicum, I started to wonder whether Ida had moved to Berlin by the late 1930s, where her son Hugo and daughters Helene and Else were living by that time, and where their sister / my grandmother Gertrud also moved in 1940 (from Breslau).   I thought about asking the archivist at the Centrum Judaicum, but I did not want to be distracted from our research goal of finding (and copying) many, many Todesanziegen, Claassenstrasse Grabinschriften and Heiratsanzeigen.   For two and half days, we did that work, finding most of what we were looking for (and then some).

On Thursday afternoon, about 3:45, we called the archivist to let her know that we had finished our last set of copying -- they then needed to be stamped and counted, so that we could pay for the 1660 or so copies.   Moments later, after a brief discussion with Don "should we ask, or not, at that late date", I called again and said I had a question about how to find out if someone had died in Berlin in 1939.   The archivist returned and pulled a binder out from the same cabinet where we had been getting paper to re-stock the printers.  It contained a copy of the burial cards from the Weissensee Friedhof in Berlin, one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in Europe.  After being shown how to use the microfiche function on the machine we have used for 8 years to review microfilms, I quickly found Ida's burial card.

We again needed help to make a useable print of the burial card.  When that was done, the archivist noted that with the number from the burial card, she could check another set of materials for more information.  She did that, and we got copies of another document that gave Ida's birth place -- Liebstadt, Ostpreußen.  By now, it must have been 4 pm - closing time for researchers at the archive.   Still, I made a quick look in the catalogue of the Centrum Judaicum, looking to see what files they have related to the East Prussia town of Liebstadt (now called Miłakowo).   There were two, each related to a JACOBSOHN family.  The first one specifically mentioned that it contained a Stammbaum, a family tree.  I took photographs of the catalogue entries and thought we might have to wait until the next trip to see what they held.   Another call to the archivist (the researchers are in a room down the hall and on the other side of a locked door from the archivists and the archives), and she was willing to pull the microfilm with those two Liebstadt files.

Then came our great discovery -- a handwritten JACOBSOHN Stammbaum from 1893.   We quickly saw Ida JACOBSOHN at the bottom of the tree with her husband Louis RAPHAELSOHN, confirming we had the right JACOBSOHN family -- our family -- and the three of their children born already by 1893 (Else was only born in 1894).   We were amazed by our discovery.  We looked at the pages quickly, but our main goal was to get photocopies made before our time ran out.   We got it done.  We saw names (Widder / Victor, Moses, Caspar), but we did not have time to get the full picture of our new family line.

After paying our huge photocopy bill (over €500), we worked our way back to Charlottenburg.  We only had a couple hours before meeting a bunch of wonderful IMMERWAHR family cousins at Maximiians restaurant.  In that time, we had a chance to start to digest our new family tree -- new names and new places:
The next couple days were still busy with going places and meeting people in Berlin, but it was hard to make room for those experiences due to the continuing excitement from our unexpected discovery about the only part of the family tree that previously ended at the generation of a great grandparent - our little known great grandmother Ida.

Friday was going to be spent with cousins at the lectures and lunch and dinner related to the 100th anniversary of the Fritz Haber Institut (formerly, the Kaiser Wilhelm Institut).  We planned to be there at 9:30, in Dahlem in southern Berlin.   The Weissensee Friedhof is in northern Berlin.   But we had to try to find Ida's gravestone.

The cemetery opens at 7:30 am, and we got there in the early morning darkness.  We took a first stab at finding Feld B-VII, Reihe 8, Grab 100147, but we could only guess from which side to start counting the rows.  As it would turn out, we were only one or two rows off.   We went to the office and the always helpful Herr Pohl provide us with a plan of Feld B-VII and instructions where to start counting to find row 8 and the 20th grave, no. 100147 -- and he told us there was a gravestone that had been placed in 1941.  We still missed it.  But after some "re-orientating", we worked our way back down row 8 to a space that first appeared to represent 5 missing graves fairly close together.  The middle one should have been no. 100147, but it was just a low mound of ivy.  Poking around at one corner, I found the edge of a stone, but no inscription.  I then poked around the middle of the stone, and also found no inscription.  Don started pulling the ivy off the grave.  Then, with one of Cookie's unused poop bags on my hand as a glove (a bag i had been carrying around in my pocket through Poland and Germany), I started to remove the earth under the ivy from the middle of the gravestone.  There, an inscription started to be visible.  While Don made a video using his iPod Touch, I cleaned off the gravestone.  We had found the grave of our great grandmother which had almost certainly not been seen by anyone in the family for close to 70 years.  (And we got to "the Fritz" only a few minutes late.)

The Sunday before all this, we had finally made a visit to Auschwitz, where all four of Ida's children were murdered.
On Tuesday, on the way to the Gesundbrunnen station, we passed through the Westhafen S-Bahn station, under the Putlitzbrücke, where Gertrud and Helene and Else were put on a train to Auschwitz (part of Transport 27).
The next Sunday, we flew home from Berlin to London to Chicago to Philadelphia on Gertrud's 125th birthday, 30 Oct 2011.
This trip had become a memorial to our grandmother Gertrud FALK, geb. RAPHAELSOHN (1886-ca.1943) and her mother Ida.