Naumann family papers
The Naumann family papers consist primarily of correspondence to Ilse Sternberger from her father, Kurt Naumann, documenting his life in Breslau (now Wrocław, Poland) before his deportation, as well as from her relatives Else Hammer, Robert Karpel, and Walter and Ida Naumann documenting their postwar lives in Italy and Germany. The collection also includes a copy of the personal narrative of Albert Nothmann, a former neighbor of the Naumann family in Gross‐Strehlitz (now Strzelce Opolskie, Poland). His narrative describes his and his twin brother’s survival at Theresienstadt and Auschwitz.
Kurt Naumann’s letters describe his desires to hear from his daughter’s family in New York and to emigrate, his worries about his wife’s whereabouts and the news of her death, and his worries about his own deportation. Also included are Red Cross letters from Marcel Sternberger’s sister, Annus Sternberger, who posed as Naumann’s daughter to be able to transmit messages to him from Ilse. Else Hammer was Kurt Naumann’s cousin and survived the Holocaust in Italy. Her letters describe her memories of her cousin and postwar Italy. Walter Naumann was another cousin of Kurt Naumann and
survived the Holocaust in Berlin in part because his wife, Ida, was not Jewish. His and Ida’s letters describe Kurt’s activities in Breslau before his deportation, postwar life in Berlin under Allied control, and Ida’s conversion to Judaism. Robert Karpel was the son of Ilse Sternberger’s cousin Lilli Karpel. Lilli’s family had fled to Prague and then Istanbul following the annexation of the Sudetenland. Robert’s unfinished letter describes his perspective as a four‐year‐old of his family’s expulsion from Istanbul. Nearly all of the letters are accompanied by the donor’s translations. Only Else Hammer’s letters and one letter from Walter and Ida Naumann are original documents; the rest are photocopies.
Albert Nothmann (1885‐1961) was a wholesale merchant and former neighbor of the Naumann family in Gross‐Strehlitz (now Strzelce Opolskie, Poland). The Nothmann family fled to Berlin during the Nazi period, hoping to hide under false identities. Albert’s personal narrative, presumably written shortly after liberation, describes how he and his twin brother, Fritz, were arrested in March 1943, pressed into forced labor, survived pneumonia, were deported to Theresienstadt in June 1943, survived Theresienstadt, were transferred to Auschwitz in May 1944, were assigned to the Camp Hospital after
they identified themselves as twins, examination by Josef Mengele, surviving Auschwitz, being liberated by the Russians in January 1945, and returning to Gross‐Strehlitz and then Berlin in June 1945.
Record last modified: 2021-05-05 13:24:51
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