Post-war Margot and Reha


Photograph, Reha, 15th April 1946

Source: Werner Weissenberg, pers. archive, copyright retained


Photograph, Reha, September, 1946

Source: Werner Weissenberg, pers. archive, copyright retained

The back of this photograph reads “Little Reha, aged five and a half; Berlin, September 1946”

Reha is the young daughter of Margot and Heinz Kornfeld – Werner’s cousin’s daughter. She was born during the war and was deported with her parents to Theresienstadt ghetto from Berlin. Just after the war (when this photograph was taken) they were living back on the same street (though not in the same building) in Berlin from which they had been deported. They were stuck here for some years until the family was able to finalise arrangements for Margot to leave for the USA. Her daughter Reha left for Israel with her father Heinz, following her parents’ divorce.

A terrible start to a young life. Yet, both parents and child survived.


Photograph, Reha, Berlin, September 1946

Source: Werner Weissenberg, pers. archive, copyright retained

The back of this photograph reads “My dear uncle Werner, whom I only know from what mummy told me, I am sending you the photograph as a keepsake. From your niece Reha, five and a half years old, Berlin, September 1946”


Photograph, Reha and Margot, Berlin, 1947

Source: Werner Weissenberg, pers. archive, copyright retained


Photograph, Reha, 1947

Reha 1947_001

Source: Werner Weissenberg, pers. archive, copyright retained


Photograph, Reha, 1947

Reha 1947

Source: Werner Weissenberg, pers. archive, copyright retained


Photograph, Margot with Reha, 24 February 1948

Source: Werner Weissenberg, pers. archive, copyright retained


I know that Margot died some years ago, but I don’t know what her family’s situation might be. I don’t know who they are, nor how they would feel about this project. Reha married and had children, I believe, so she is unlikely to have the same family name as Margot, and therefore I have no idea how to ask permission. For this reason, this will be the last photograph I upload of Reha. These few of her as a baby and very young child would not now be recognisable of a woman who must now be in her late 70s. I hope this seems like an acceptable compromise. I have also held back other material from the war/postwar years: much as I would like to upload everything I have here, it doesn’t feel like it’s my decision to take.


Photograph, Margot Kornfeld, 1952

Source: Werner Weissenberg, pers. archive, copyright retained

Margot sent a quite a number of photographs and letters to Werner in the postwar years. As far as I knew when I began to write this website, they were the only surviving members of the family. My father would sometimes comment when a letter had come through, although I was seldom told anything about what it said. And of course, I would never have felt I could ask.


Photograph, ‘Cousins’, New York, 1959

Source: Werner Weissenberg, pers. archive, copyright retained

This is the final photograph of Margot that I will upload here. It was taken in her new home state of New York in 1959.

Not being able to speak the language has seldom annoyed me more than it does as the present moment. The reverse of the photograph looks as though it says ‘cousins’ – plural. Hopefully, we’ll get a translation soon. Did another family member survive?

This can’t be ‘little Reha’ and Margot, I wouldn’t have thought; it’s not a clear picture but the ages don’t look correct. In one of the letters from Else to Werner, there is mention of another family member called Reha/Rachel – for whom I assume the little girl must have been named. However, I have only recently had that letter translated, and I don’t yet know what the connection is.


Update: 29 July, 2015

We have now had the translation done and it does indeed say ‘cousins’!

It reads ‘New York, December 1959

In everlasting memory

From your cousins Margot and Reha’