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Günther and Kohlmann families correspondence

Document | Accession Number: 2015.551.1

Correspondence, family tree, articles and copies of photographs, related to the family of Camilla Günther-Kohlmann, originally of Brodenbach a.d. Mosel, Germany, and her husband, Walter Kohlmann, of Kirchheim a.d. Eck, both of whom left Germany to escape Nazi persecution in the late 1930s, and who subsequently met and married in New York. Includes correspondence from her parents, in Brodenbach, 1937-1941; correspondence from friends and other family members from her hometown during the same time period, and some correspondence from the family of her husband, Walter Kohlmann, dated 1940-1942, including letters sent by Walter’s parents from Rivesaltes and other concentration camps in France. The collection also includes family trees compiled by the Kohlmann family in later years, and a copy of a booklet compiled by the family of Anton and Marie Etzkorn, family friends and business associates of the Günther family in Brodenbach, related to a visit by Camilla Kohlmann to her home town in 1995.

The Biographical series of this collection contains family trees, an inventory of Günther family properties in and around Brodenbach (likely drawn up after the war as part of a restitution case), correspondence with the Red Cross seeking to determine the fate of Isidor Günther, photocopies of earlier Kohlmann family documents, and a copy of a booklet produced in Brodenbach, Germany in 1995, during the occasion of Camilla Kohlmann’s visit to her hometown in nearly sixty years after leaving.

The Correspondence series is comprised largely of correspondence to Camilla Kohlmann from her parents, and after 1939, only her father, in the years following Camilla’s immigration to the United States. Many letters also contain greetings or small added text from other family members and friends in Brodenbach, and report on life in the town since Camilla’s departure, respond to news that Camilla had shared in her correspondence—including the news of her engagement and marriage to Walter Kohlmann—and discussions of possible plans to emigrate from Germany. In addition to the letters from Isidor and Klara Günther, however, there are also letters from members of the Bonem family—relatives from Camilla’s mother’s side of the family—as well as other friends and family members from Brodenbach. Many of the letters were sent to either Camilla or her sister, Henriette Aach, meant to be read and shared by both.

The file for the Bonem family contains letters regarding efforts to assist with the emigration from France of various maternal aunts and uncles of Camilla and Henny. This file includes correspondence to Henny from their uncle and aunt Ferdinand and Berta Bonem, and their uncles Karl and Julius Bonem, all writing from France, from where they were seeking to escape; as well as correspondence from their uncle Ludwig Aach and his son Alfred, both in St. Louis, who were trying to help the Bonems come to the United States as well.

In addition, there is a file of correspondence from Camilla Kohlmann in later years, containing a letter that she wrote to a local historian in Brodenbach in 1999, in order to tell the story of her family’s history.

The file for the family of Ludwig Kohlmann contains letters written by Ludwig and Paula Kohlmann, as well as their daughter Trude, from camps where they had been interned in France, in 1941, including Rivesaltes. Also included is a file of letters from Ilse Kohlmann, Walter’s sister, written while she served as a nurse in Cologne and Frankfurt, in which she provided news not only about her and Walter’s parents and siblings, but also about Isidor Günther, with whom she maintained contact.

inclusive:  1937-1999
bulk:  1937-1941
18 folders
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Phyllis Kohlmann
Record last modified: 2021-11-09 10:53:44
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