As of the spring of 1934:
Two of Alexander's nieces and nephews had died in California, and the other four were safely raising their families in America (two in New York City and two in California).
Alexander (who had lost his wife Helene in 1925) was in Berlin and seven of his children and their families were in or near Berlin as well. Jacob, Anna, Martha, and Frieda had immigrated to America, so four were safe. So let us see what happened to Alexander and the seven children in the decade starting in 1934:
- Alexander was hidden from the Nazis but did not survive the decade, passing in 1941.
- Karl immigrated to America in 1939; his wife Hedwig joined him in 1940. Unfortunately daughter Hanna was murdered at Auschwitz in 1943; son Heinz escaped to Palestine.
- Selma fled to England in 1939.
- Moritz' status is unknown. He was living in Leipzig and married to Clara. We know that Clara was in Leipzig in 1949 and we know (via family lore) that Moritz committed suicide, but we do not know when.
- Theo escaped to China and lived in the Shanghai ghetto.
- Julius and his wife Dorka were divorced some time during this decade. Dorka and children Lilly and Lothar fled to the Shanghai ghetto. Julius was murdered by the Nazis in 1943 at Theresienstadt.
- Cilly was married to a Christian, Horst Eilenberg, who was a POW while serving in the German Army in World War 1. They both survived the war in Germany.
- Philipp was forced to divorce his wife Else because of the Nuremburg Laws in order to save his children. He was murdered by the Nazis in 1942 at Sachsenhausen.
The letters below do not discuss or portend any of the horrors that were soon to befall this family. However there is a reference to the fact that they do not go out much, which may be because of the increasing restrictions on Jews. These two pages - the first written by Alexander, and the second by Selma, discuss happier times. The English translation follows.
Again thanks to our master German translator Matthias Steinke; we are fortunate to have the English translation:
Letter written by Alexander:
Berlin, 10. 11. 34
Dear children and grandchildren!
After long waiting we got your letter, card and 10 Dollars. Best thank to you Anna. Send to the last (named) greetings and I will write to her, if I got news from her. Also from Jakob nothing heard. The main thing is that you, Tulmans and Martha are healthy.
Here is it like it was. I for myself feel the age.
Julius came back recently and lives with Philipp, who has huge financial problems.
Theo, Selma and Karl support the family over their relationships. I myself go to nobody for
weeks, because you wont hear anything pleasing. Theo and wife visit us every Saturday. They have a very beautiful flat and furnishings.
From Plauen come often news. Recently I was at Brünns and found the people in good health.
Say Anna, that she shall write again finally. Jonny? died. Selma will write concerning the umbrella.
Henry must be a big gentleman. [He is likeley referring to his grandson Henry Brunn]
Now, farewell and be greeted by your you thankful father and grandfather.
Letter writen by Selma:
Dear Frieda. So the umbrella reached you. After the description it is the correct one. How comes the umbrella under the bed and so on?
In the next days I will send again some children-booklets. Do you know, dear Frieda, that Herta Elias has a boy? His mother already written, that Missus Mannheimer and daughter emigrated to America. At N. Israel is still everything unchanged. What else happens in the world you see in the newspapers.
I am often together with Theo and Lucie.
We now go out very little.
Hopefully you are all well and happy, from us I can report the same.
Hearty greetings for you and all Beloved,
from your Selma