Post-war – Margot and Reha

Please click on or hover over the photographs below: where there is information on the back of the photograph, both sides have been provided in the form of a ‘slideshow’

Slideshow: 15th April, 1946

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Slideshow: September 1946

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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 – my dad’s cousin’s daughter. She was born during the war and was deported with her parents to Theresienstadt KZ 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 that they had been deported from. They were stuck here for some years until Margot was able to finalise arrangements for her and her daughter to leave for the USA. A terrible start to a young life. Yet, both parents and child survived.

Slideshow: Berlin, September 1946

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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”

Slideshow: Berlin, 1947

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Margot with Reha, 1947.

Photograph: 1947

Reha 1947_001

Little Reha, 1947

Photograph: 1947

Reha 1947

Margot’s clearly very precious little girl, Reha, 1947

24 February 1948 – Margot and Reha
24 February 1948 – Margot and Reha – reverse side

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, so I have no idea how to find out and ask permission. Thus, 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 around 72, so I sincerely hope that 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’s not my decision to take.

Slideshow: Margot, 1952

Margot sent a quite a number of photographs and letters to Werner in the postwar years: as far as I know to date, they were the only surviving members of the family. I think it was difficult for my father – not least because she wrote to him in German, which he never chose to use. However, he would sometimes comment when a letter had come through, though we were seldom told anything about what it said – and of course, we’d never have felt we could ask.

Slideshow: ‘Cousins’, 1959

This is the final photograph of Margot that I will upload here, I think. 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 – that does look 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 – whom we assume the little girl must have been named for – but we 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 and it does indeed say ‘cousins’!

It reads ‘New York, December 1959

In everlasting memory

From your cousins Margot and Reha’