“Thank you so much for your postcard.

Minna and Gustav Wächter

I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all members of the Wächter family, as well as to those who wrote and are mentioned in the postcards, and to their descendants. Thank you Ylva, Jonatan, Felicia, Gabriel and Tobias for your love and support!

I owe a considerable debt of gratitude to my “bonus mother” Ruth Wächter, who has not only devoted a great deal of time to explaining and talking about the Germany in which she grew up, but has also proved a charming companion on my travels in today’s Germany. Thank you, Ruth!

I would like to thank all the past members of Hechaluz and friends of my father who welcomed me into their homes in Sweden, Germany, Israel and the USA. Thank you for being so generous with your time, for letting me look into your personal archives, and for sharing your memories with me. Thank you to Lotti Cohn, Cordelia Edwardsson, Herbert (Zeev) Gollop, Wolfgang Hirsch, Lies and Alfred Kalter, Josef Karlberg, Ulli Kohlberg, Margot Laske (Miriam Waldman, Yael Yaari ), Marianne Löllbach, Ruth Meyer, Judith Rotschild, Anna and Dan Schier, Stefan Schueler, Björn Widén, and those who do not wish to be named.

Dr Malin Thor has shared her comprehensive knowledge of Hechaluz in Sweden, and has also checked the Swedish section of the manuscript. The historian and author Sybille Baumbach has done the same for the section concerning Hamburg. Thank you Malin and Sybille!
Sybille Baumbach and her colleague Claudia Thorn have also guided me in my work with the Hamburger Staatsarchiv, where the eminent Jürgen Sielemann has provided invaluable assistance. A big thank you also to Judith Landshut and the Jewish congregation in Hamburg, as well as to the Hamburger Gesellschaft für jüdische Genealogi.

Sütterlinstube Hamburg has transcribed several hundred letters and other documents from old German script to the Latin alphabet. Thank you to Heinz Demmin, Hannelore Faroß, Dr. Peter Hohn, Prof. Dr. Joachim Kühnau, Gisela Lassen, Heinz Timmann and everyone else who helped with the transcription.

I would like to thank all those working at KZ-Gedenkstätte Neuengamme for their cooperation, particularly Herbert Diercks for reading through the manuscript, and for arranging the reading where Michael Grill and Ulrike Jensen brought to life a collection of documents left by my father. My thanks to Aneta Heinrich for putting me in touch with Sütterlinstube Hamburg.

My thanks to the sports historian and author Werner Skrentny for guidance and clarification on the Hamburger Sports Verein (HSV) during the 1920s. Thanks also to Alexander Iwan and everyone else with whom I came into contact at the HSV museum.

Thanks to Pastor Tobias Götting for the beautiful and dignified memorial service in the Ansgarkirche, and to all those of you who read from the material on that occasion.

At the University of Hamburg I received assistance from Dr Michaela Giesing, Emerita Professor Dr Ina Lorenz, Struan Robertson, Professor Dr Fritiof Trapp, and Dr Barbara Müller-Wesemann among others. Thank you so much!

My thanks also go to the Museum für Hamburgerische Geschichte and Günther Peterlein, together with his colleagues at the Amt für Wiedergutmachung in Hamburg. Thanks to Bianca Leal at the Landesarchiv Nordrhein Westphalen, Birgit Graack and Meike Kruse at Hansestadt Lübeck – Fachbereich Kultur, and to Dr Bettina Schleier at the Staatsarchiv Bremen.

A big thank you to historian and author Angelika Ellman-Krüger in Berlin, Cilly Kugelmann at the Jüdisches Museum Berlin, and to Barbara Wolff at the Albert Einstein Archives in Jerusalem.

To Walts Apinis at the University of Latvia, and to Marger Westermanis at the Jewish Museum: thank you for all your help in Riga.

I am very grateful to the Jewish congregation in Stockholm, who opened their archives to me. I would also like to thank all the staff with whom I have been in contact at Riksarkivet in Stockholm.

At Kungliga Konsthögskolan (the Royal University College of Fine Arts) in Stockholm I would particularly like to thank Professor Fredric Bedoire, Jonas Williamsson and Camilla Gunnar.

A big thank you to everyone at Paideia, the European Institute for Jewish Studies in Stockholm, and above all to Barbara Spectre, the director of the Institute, who opened many doors for me.

Finally, I would like to thank my translators, Paul Berf, Marlaine Delargy, Lars W Freij and Sally-Ann Spencer for the excellent translations. Thank you!

Thank you also to all those of you who read the material and contribute your comments.


Torkel S Wächter, March 2010