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Deported Jews from Vlotho

Manfred Kluge has paid a two-day visit to the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen pursuing research on behalf of the “Mendel-Grundmann-Gesellschaft e.V.” based in Vlotho. Three years ago the “Commemoration book on the Vlotho victims of the Nazi Persecution of the Jews” brought him already to the ITS. This time he wants to shed more light on two individual fates, those of Jutta Silberberg and Margarethe Bräutigam. “I come across detail upon detail that are new to me”, rejoices the researcher.

Kluge reports that both women survived the Holocaust. As some data still remain uncleared, he tries to reconstruct their fate. According to the commemoration book, Jutta Silberberg and her parents were deported from Bielefeld to Concentration Camp Theresienstadt on 29 July 1942. From there, the Nazis transported her on to Auschwitz and Gross Rosen. “Thanks to the ITS documentation, my research for the transfer date was successful, and I know now that they were sent from Auschwitz to Gross Rosen on 28 October 1944”, said Kluge. Jutta and her mother survived and came back to Vlotho in October 1945. Feeling uncomfortable in the perpetrators’ place and country, mother and daughter left Germany to settle in the USA in 1947.

Founded in 1965, the “Mendel-Grundmann-Gesellschaft e.V.” owes its name to the devoted Jewish merchant and Vlotho-resident Mendel Grundmann (1844-1914). The society’s members have investigated and examined the history of the Jews from Vlotho ever since. A monument was erected as early as 1969. Cologne artist Gunter Demnig placed stumbling stones for the victims between March 2006 and March 2007. Kluge had come to the ITS and looked through its holdings for compiling a commemoration book in spring 2008. “That visit of mine brought to light completely new information on both, deportation dates and routes, for in all 41 victims“, he relates. “We could add important details to the knowledge we had and authentic sources from the ITS archives now document the fates.”