- The Werner Katzenstein postcards include one postcard addressed to Katzenstein while he lived in the Netherlands; postcards addressed to unrelated people including Hans Bornemann, Robert Heinemann, Wilhelm Schaefer, and others; and blank postcards documenting the 1936 Olympics, bear Deutsches Reich stamps and Nazi imagery, and one advertising "Der ewige Jude."
- Credit Line
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Inge and Werner Katzenstein
- Collection Creator
- Werner Katzenstein
Werner Katzenstein was born on April 29, 1922, in Wallensen, Germany. In 1933, the Nazi dictatorship took control of Germany. All the male Jews in the county where they lived, including Werner’s father, were jailed. His father was released after 8-10 days. Werner had to leave school. The government enacted legislation to strip Jews of their rights. In 1935, Werner’s father was no longer allowed to buy grain and was forced to close his farming supply business. Aided by a relative, his father acquired property in the Netherlands and the family moved there in 1937. His father continued to seek a more secure haven for his family. In June 1939, they left for the United States. They settled in Somerville, New Jersey and developed a farm business.
Werner was considered an enemy alien, but was permitted to register for the draft. He was inducted into the US army in March 1944. After basic training, he was trained for intelligence and reconnaissance work and assigned to the 100th Infantry Division. He deployed to Europe, entering combat in southern France and the Vosges Mountains. Werner was wounded in battle in November, but rejoined his platoon in January 1945. The unit advanced into Germany and captured Heidelberg. The war ended with Germany’s surrender on May 7, 1945. Werner then worked for the military government. He traveled to Theresienstadt concentration camp in Czechoslovakia to visit family who had been imprisoned there. Werner returned to New Jersey on April 30, 1946. He married Inge Berg, who had fled Germany after Kristallnacht with her extended family and lived in Kenya for the duration of the war. The couple had three children and settled in Washington, D.C. Werner, 93, passed away November 4, 2015.
Rights & Restrictions
- Conditions on Access
- There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
- Conditions on Use
- Material(s) in this collection may be protected by copyright and/or related rights. You do not require further permission from the Museum to use this material. The user is solely responsible for making a determination as to if and how the material may be used.
Keywords & Subjects
- Geographic Name
- Holder of Originals
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
- Legal Status
- Permanent Collection
- Donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2014 by Werner and Inge Katzenstein
- Funding Note
- The cataloging of this collection has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
- Record last modified:
- 2023-02-24 13:43:50
- This page:
Also in Werner and Inge Berg Katzenstein family collection
The collection consists of a pin relating to the experiences of Inge Berg and her family in Nairobi, Kenya, during the Holocaust, and of cards, envelopes, stamps, and postcards relating to the experiences of Werner Katzenstein in prewar Germany and during and after the war in the United States.
Handcrafted pin with the initials CB made for Clara Davids Berg, when the extended Berg family was living in Kenya after fleeing Cologne, Germany, in May/June 1939. The family had lived in nearby Lechenich for generations, but under the Nazi dictatorship, which took power in 1933, Jews were made outcasts from German society. The Berg's were warned by neighbors to leave their home prior to the Kristallnacht pogrom of November 9-10, 1938. Their houses were vandalized and the family decided to leave Germany. They wanted to stay together as a family and a friend got them permits for British ruled Kenya. Eventually 17 family members relocated to a cattle ranch near Nairobi. Clara's son-in-law Josef and his brother Georg arrived first in July 1939. Most of the family left from Genoa, Italy, that summer: Clara and her husband Max, Josef's wife Klara and daughters Inge, 10, and Gisela, 6, and their maternal grandmother and her sister; Sara Meyer Berg, and several other relatives. Clara and Max lived with Josef and his family. Clara and her husband Max both passed away in 1945. After the war ended in May 1945, the remaining family members emigrated to the United States.