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Research on Deportation Action from Franconia

Early in November 2010, Ekkehard Hübschmann investigated the fates of 15 Jews from Franconia in the archive of the International Tracing Service (ITS). “I could discover new facts for about half of the people largely drawing them from the documents on displaced persons’ camps”, Hübschmann is happy to report. The freelance historian has been involving himself with Jewish history in Franconia for more than 20 years.

Hübschmann, who plays an active role in various working-groups and history workshops, endeavours to retrace the fates of Franconian Jews during the Nazi era. “Over the years, I have had the chance to strike up many friendships with the families of deported persons and trace back their lives“, says the historian. “Just to cite one example: at the ITS archive, I have found a marriage entry for Richard Isaak showing his wife’s and child’s names. This is a detail of substance, a detail that makes a difference to both my research on the scholarly plane and his family in the USA on the personal plane.

Franconia had numerous Jewish communities before the Holocaust. “More than 4,000 people were deported from Nuremberg, the point of collection and departure for all transports coming from the administrative districts of Lower, Middle and Upper Franconia”, knows Hübschmann. The first transport leaving for Riga on 27th November 1941 was followed by seven deportation convoys to Izbica, Karasniczyn, Theresienstadt and Auschwitz. “Re-appraising history equates to commemorating the victims”, Hübschmann emphasizes. “Considering that a coherent or contextual investigation into Nazi deportation action from Franconia, though due, is lacking as yet, our working-group on Franconian-Jewish history undertakes filling the vacuum.”