In continuation from my original post here , I’ve transcribed more of Great Great Grandmom’s postcards from Germany. This Postcard collection is from 3 separate people, which I am assuming are the same in relation. The first few are from a Robert Weiss and Katchen and 6 children in Meiderich, Duisburg Germany. The last 2 are from a Robert and Anna and children, and also one from a niece Elizabeth. These may all be the same family, but I have no way of knowing, since only the first few cards were signed with the last name Weiss.
I still have yet to find any records connecting my GG Grandmother to these relatives. At first I just thought that it was because the records weren’t uploaded onto ancestry.com. But after further research into the city of Duisburg, it saddened me to discover that Duisburg was a major port for shipping and supplies during WWII. Because of this, it was targeted by the RAF and America in bombings.
Duisburg was bombed a number of times by the Allies during World War II. The most devastating air raids on Duisburg occurred during October 1944 when the city was bombed by the Royal Air Force (RAF).
Duisburg was a major logistical centre in the Ruhr Area and location of chemical, steel and iron industries, Duisburg was a primary target of Allied bombers. Not only the industrial areas but also residential areas were attacked by Allied bombs.
During the “Battle of the Ruhr” in 1943, 577 British bombers destroyed the old city on 12/13 May, with 1,599 tonnes of bombs: 96,000 people were made homeless.
During Operation Hurricane nearly 9,000 tonnes of bombs fell on Duisburg in less than 24 hours, but the damage to Duisburg is difficult to assess because much of the documentation including the final report (Endbericht), is not held by the Duisburg state archive (Stadtarchiv). However the documentation which is available mentions “Very serious property damage. A large number of people buried.” and that at the Thyssen Mines III and IV 8 days production was lost.
It’s quite possible that any link I may of had to the families there are all lost to history because of this raid. Below is a short video on the destruction to Duisburg and other Rhine areas. Essen, Germany was also bombed, where the rest of my GG Grandmom’s postcards are from, and where she often visited when coming back to Germany. To put into context how massive this bombing was –Duisburg received a greater weight of bombs than London received during the whole war, in just 24 hours!
Postcard 1 (addressed to Lizzi Braun)
December 20th, 1913
Prostit New Year.
We wish you a happy new year and hope you see us this year in Germany.
Greetings from Robert Weiss and woman (Frau in German means woman, it is usual in the German language to call a wife “frau”.)
Address the card is sent from:
Hauffstrasse number 2
Postcard 2 (addressed to Miss Lizzi Braun)
December 12th, 1913
We wish you all a Merry Christmas
Greetings from Meiderich
Robert, Kaethchen and 6 children
Address the card is sent from:
Postcard 3 (addressed to Sedchen at Peter Kern’s House)
Note: GG Grandmom was visiting Germany at this time period, and from the cards, it seems she was staying with Peter Kern. In some of these postcards, GG Grandmom Elizabeth Braun is referred to as “Momma Sedchen” or “Sedchen”. I’m not sure if this was a nick name or GG Granmom Braun’s original birth name.)
July 8th, 1913
To Peter Kern
Essen on the Ruhr
Margarethen Str 36
Many greetings from Meiderich
sending to you before you leave
Robert, Kaethchen, (kids of Robert: Heinrich, Rob, Lued, Finn, Walter)
Greetings to Uncle Ewald (Note: Uncle Ewald is GG Grandmom’s brother, who lives in America at this point)
For the album
(this card was to be kept in an album that GG Grandmom and GG Aunt Blanche were keeping. Which sort of explains why we still have all of these cards to this day!)
Postcard 4 (addressed to Miss Lizzi Braun)
July 8th, 1913
To Miss Lizzi With Peter Kern
My dear ones, I send you again many greetings from Meiderich and wish you a happy crossing. Greetings to all there with you In America.
Robert from Meiderich and family
A greeting also to Uncle Ewald.
July 16, 1913
(This card was translated by one of my Grandmom Walt’s friends)
Dear Aunt & Cousin,
Thank you for the card – it made me happy. Hope you arrived well. Sorry you are not here anymore.
Greetings to all from Robert + Katchen from Meiderich
Postcard 6 (to Saetken, aka My GG Grandmom Braun. translated by my contact in Germany, as well as by one of my Grandmom Walt’s friends. The translation was a little different for some words, but both translations basically said the same thing.)
December 11, 1913
Dear aunt Saetken !!!
Your dear card was received, I am very pleased. I see that you are quite healthy. Everything is the same as always. The photography of Lizzi is so far not yet arrived. From the heart we wish you a Merry Christmas. Hopefully we will see you soon again. When you read this card, imagine you are here with us. Greetings from your parents and siblings especially your niece Elisabeth.
This card is very important in my research, as Elizabeth notes that Lizzie’s parents and siblings are still alive. To this day, I do not know anything about GG Grandmom Braun’s mother and father.
December 11, 1913
Dear sister Saetken,
I’ve got your card, but the photographs are not yet. Here everything is still as it was. We are healthy and cheerful, hopefully yours too. There were such nice hours for us when you were with us. The time was too short and hopefully you will come back to us soon. How is your Daughter Lizzi? We hope she is doing well. Greetings from all of us. Please write me your address, then I will write to her immediately. I received the card from her, a letter follows. Greetings again Robert Anna and children.
After translating all of these cards from these 3 people, I am pretty much convinced that her nephew Robert Weiss, the other Robert and her niece Elizabeth from Duisburg are all the same family. Mainly because in one of the cards from Robert Weiss, he signs it, Robert, Katharine and 6 children. The photo from Elizabeth has a family of 6 children on it.
I still have about a dozen more German postcards to upload onto this site with other family members from Essen. So stay tuned! 🙂