Edith Brandon papers
The Edith Brandon papers consist of biographical materials, correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs, and a testimonial narrative documenting Edith Brandon’s deportation to Riga with her mother, Meta Blau; the lives of her boyfriend, Lutek Orenbach, in the Tomaszów-Mazowiecki ghetto and her friend, Ruth Goldbarth, in the Warsaw ghetto; and Edith’s Christian uncle, Hermann Bradtmüller, in Minden and the assistance he provided during the Nazi period.
Biographical materials include emigration, deportation, and identification records documenting Edith and her mother’s failed attempt to emigrate to Colombia, their deportation to Riga, Edith’s work status following liberation, her return to Minden, and her status as a concentration camp survivor.
Correspondence primarily consists of letters and postcards from Lutek Orenbach in the TomaszówMazowiecki ghetto and from Ruth Goldbarth in Warsaw and the Warsaw ghetto to Edith while she lived in Minden. Lutek’s correspondence describes conditions in the Tomaszów-Mazowiecki ghetto, his work for the Jewish Council, his participation in theatrical and musical performances in the ghetto, and his mental and emotional distress. Ruth’s correspondence reveals her sense of humor and critical eye while discussing mundane practical matters like the cost of various products and living conditions in the ghetto, her hopes and fears for the future, working for her father in his dental practice, and caring for her mother and sister as they grew ill. Ruth also used coded language to try to communicate about the actions of the Gestapo, German forces, and Polish and Russian threats. She gratefully acknowledges the packages of food and clothing Edith painstakingly gathered and sent, as well as Hermann Bradtmüller’s courageous visit to the Warsaw Ghetto. At the same time, she manages to smuggle letters out through Edith to relatives living overseas. Hans Bradtmüller saved Lutek’s and Ruth’s correspondence for Edith throughout the war. Correspondence from both Lutek and Ruth often includes notes at the end from other friends and family members. Additional correspondence from Edith and her mother to relatives documents their deportation and work on labor details.
Four photographs depict Edith Brandon, Lutek Orenbach, and forced laborers in Riga.
Three newspaper clippings document the establishment of the Warsaw ghetto and life inside the ghetto.
Edith Brandon’s narrative Ein Mindener Bürger describes her maternal aunt’s Christian husband, Hermann Bradtmüller, and his bravery in aiding Edith’s family and friends and fighting Nazi aggression and injustice. The collection includes an original 1945 version, a presentation booklet assembled in 1994, and an English translation
Record last modified: 2021-05-27 08:04:59
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