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Segal Family in DP Camp Hofgeismar

Julia Drinnenberg of Hofgeismar´s City Museum visited the International Tracing Service (ITS) at the end of June to research the fate of the Segal family, who were housed in Hofgeismar´s Displaced Persons (DP) camp. “I found the family´s DP registration cards at the ITS,” she reported.

The Jewish family contacted Hofgeismar´s City Museum in December 2009. “Could you help me find out about my roots and especially my birthplace? For quite some time I´ve been looking for information on the camp for Holocaust survivors in Hofgeismar, near Kassel. I was born there on September 30, 1946. My name was Sara Segal.” Since then the museum has had close contact to the family and has been researching its fate.

Many facts about post-war Hofgeismar could be reconstructed through Chaim and Lucja/Sara Segal´s stories. “Questions about the food supply, sanitary conditions, childcare and educational opportunities at the camp take on special value through the Segal family´s personal experience,” said Drinnenberg.

Chaim Segal, Lucja´s half-brother, was 17 years old at the end of the war and can still recall his time in Hofgeismar´s DP camp precisely. His persecution began in 1941 in his Galician hometown of Boryslaw as the Germans invaded and deported him to a work camp. In 1946 he ended up in Hofgeismar. “The Segal family´s story shows how each of the more than 2000 residents of the DP camp in Hofgeismar were subjected to immeasurable suffering,” said Drinnenberg.

Drinnenberg viewed witness accounts of persecution measures in Galicia from 1942-44 at the ITS. “Chaim was arrested and taken to the forced labor camp in Boryslaw. His mother, sister and aunt were murdered there,” said Drinnenberg. Chaim testified as a witness in the trial of SS Obersturmführer Hildebrand, commander of the forced labour camps in Boryslaw and Drohobycz. “I was also able to find witness testimony given by Chaim´s uncle. I am now planning to visit the Central Office of the State Judiciary in Ludwigsburg.”