Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I am a German girl

For many years, I avoided doing research on my German ancestors. As a child I had read such books as, “Diary of Anne Frank,” “Escape from Warsaw,” “Snow Treasure,” and “Mila 18.” I remember watching World War II movies as I drowsily fell asleep in the back of our old Chevrolet station wagon at the local drive-in. The lesson from all these books and movies was clear — Germans bad, everybody else good.

I consoled myself with the thought that most of my German ancestors had made it to American shores by the end of the 18th century, so I hoped that whatever character flaw allowed the evil of Treblinka, Dachau and Buchenwald to occur, had not yet entered the German gene pool.

But one set of great-grandparents did not make the American voyage until the beginning of the 20th century. They left behind, in the old country, a large family of siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, nephews and nieces. Many of their family, my family, were still alive when the Nazis came to power.

With as much trepidation as a child opening an old cellar door, I have opened my own door to my German past. It is an ongoing project, whose treasures are not easily found. Tomorrow, inspired by the Carnival of Genealogy's next edition, “A Place Called Home,” I will share with the information about my own German homeland

Until Next Time ...

Note this post first published online, April , 2008, at Desktop Genealogist Blog at The News-Messenger Online http://www.thenews-messenger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?Category=BLOGS02


Janice said...


I've been following your story here, and on your newspaper site. Very fascinating! What a sad story, yet still hopeful, that you are relating! I'm waiting for the next chapter.



Thanks Janice - writing these installments have been very fulfilling.

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