I have been posting these letters and their translations together with a bit of back story throughout 2012. As a continuing tribute to the Braunhart ancestors, hopefully the remainder of the approximately 50 letters and postcards will be completed in 2013. Even more desirable would be that the other cousins who have some German letters in boxes in their attics and garages will contribute so that we can complete the collection.
In any case, as a collective tribute to the Braunhart ancestors, below are their voices as written in these revealing and sometimes shocking letters. Presented are the dates and authors of each letter, with a link to the post for each letter for those that have been translated during 2012. A short summary accompanies each link:
Letters from Germany - 1915 - Helene Congratulates Anna on Wedding in America
Helene Braunhart congratulates her daughter Anna on her recent wedding in Brooklyn. Also, there are lines of congratulations from Anna's youngest sister Frieda, as well as from Anna's brother Carl's wife Hedwig.
Letters from Germany - 1919 - Before Forced Emigration
Father Alexander Braunhart discusses the status of all of daughter Anna's siblings in Schubin and other parts of Germany and the fact that the war had extended to Schubin and that he had been frequently arrested.
Letters from Germany - 1919 - What Happened to Moritz?
This article is actually a tribute to Moritz, the member of the family that we know least about. Included is a letter from him in Leipzig to his parents in Schubin. He spent the majority of his adult life in Leipzig.
Letters from Germany - 1919 - Selma Discusses Worsening Conditions in Schubin
Selma briefly discusses the worsening conditions in Schubin and her desire to leave. Indeed she did, likely in 1920 with her parents to Berlin. Later, in 1939 she escaped to England.
Letters from Germany - 1919 - Frieda is Ready to Leave Schubin
In this letter, Anna's youngest sister Frieda talks about getting fired and her desire to leave Schubin as soon as possible.
Letters from Germany - 1920 - "Without Money It is Like a Person Being Dead"
In this pair of letters from Cilly Braunhart to her sister, and a secret letter from Selma's husband, Horst Eilenberg to Anna, they both decry their worsening financial condition, and Horst pleas for a loan so that he can get a job or start a business and take care of his wife.
Letters from Germany - 1920 - Ailing Theo Begs for Help
Theo begs for a small loan and thanks sister Anna for the supplies that she had mailed him. Because of his illnesses after the war he is unable to find a job.
Letters from Germany - 1924 - Hyperinflation - Mother Gets One Dollar
This letter to Anna from father Alexander and mother Helene discusses the status of Ann's siblings and also Helene's excitement over receiving one US dollar! Because of hyperinflation in the 1920s in Germany it had quite a bit of value.
Letters from Germany - 1934 - The Calm Before the Nazi Storm
In this pair of letters from father Alexander Braunhart and Anna's sister Selma, there is a calm conversation about little, including an umbrella. These letters are preliminary to the set of events that will tear this family apart in the next ten years.
Letters from Germany - 1939 - Philipp Denied Escape
In this letter from Philipp and his family to sister Selma, who had escaped to England, he discusses his planned escape from Germany via a Japanese steamship. As we know, he did not make it.