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A Journey To My Roots

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S: A Journey To My Roots

BC: A Journey To My Roots by Judi Hannes Portland Press Florida

FC: A Journey To My Roots Judi Hannes June 17- July 4, 2010

1: A Journey To My Roots Gorlitz and Berlin Germany 2010 Judi Hannes | Portland Press Florida | All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. December, 2011

2: This journey is dedicated to the memory of: Ruth Bach Hannes, beloved mother Wolfgang Hannes, beloved father Bertha and Julius Bach, beloved grandparents Flora & Fritz Hannes, beloved grandparents And to the over 40 members of our family that perished in the Holocaust. With thanks and gratitude to my brother Stevan who joined me on this journey...and to Jim Mendelsohn who also joined us on this remarkable and unforgettable journey. Judi Hannes December, 2011

3: A JOURNEY TO MY ROOTS My plans for this journey began almost 10 years ago. But as is in life, things change. On Wed, morning, Sept. 11, 2001 I was packing to leave for a 6 week trip to Europe. The packing stopped almost as soon as I had begun. No more needs to be said about that day. It would be another 9 years before I would actually get on a plane and make this trip. In early 2009 I began making plans. Included were visits to the city of Gorlitz, Germany, the birthplace of my father and home to much of my father’s family and a visit to Berlin, the birthplace of my mother, the city where my parents met and were married. | This journey was not about anger, revenge or blame, or even forgiveness. None of that occurred to me. Too much energy wasted on negative thoughts. My parents taught me courage, sacrifice & integrity. That’s what their lives were about. A great quote by David Russell: The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which bridge to burn. I choose to cross the “bridge” and visit the homeland of my family. I choose not to burn the bridge. I had always wanted to go to Gorlitz and Berlin. While growing up my parents always talked about the cities they were born and raised in. They had fond memories. They were both privileged children, growing up with housekeepers, cooks and governesses, as well as loving parents and extended family. | For me, returning to both Gorlitz and Berlin fills in missing pieces, including many visuals. Even though I have seen many pictures, there was still something missing for me. I needed to be there, in the places my parents walked, ate, played and lived life; and in Berlin, where they were married. Being in both Gorlitz and Berlin has given me a connection that is hard to describe. A connection to my parents lives before I was even thought of!! To be able to walk the same streets as my parents did, to be able to actually set foot into the home my father was born in, the former homes of my great grandparents, to visit the cemeteries, the Jewish Cemetery in Gorlitz where my paternal grandfather is buried, and the Jewish Cemetery in Berlin where my maternal grandfather is buried, brings a sense of connection and closure. But it also brings a yearning for what has been lost. Judi Hannes December, 2011

4: OUR FAMILY | The Hannes Family | Flora Student & Fritz Hannes Parents of Wolfgang and Gerhard (Jerry) | The Student Family Flora's brother & sister..Flora and parents. | Flora Hannes Carlsbad June 1937 | Jerry Hannes | Wolfgang Hannes

5: Amanda Hannes Grandmother of Wolfgang and Jerry | Max Hannes Grandfather of Wolfgang and Jerry

6: The Bach Family | Bertha & Julius Bach parents of Ruth | Bertha and her 2 sisters (both sisters died in concentration camp) | Back row: Flora Student Hannes,unknown, Herbert Bach, unknown...Miriam. Front Row: Wolfgang Hannes, Amanda Hannes, Ruth Bach Hannes, Bertha Bach. | Bertha Bach

7: Ruth and Fritz Hannes father & daughter | Ruth Berlin, 1935

8: Ruth and Wolfgang Hannes Married, July 16, 1935 | Bertha & Fritz Bach Ruth Bach and Wolfgang Hannes Wedding Day July 16, 1935 | Berlin Germany

9: Bach Family Lived in Berlin Germany Died in concentration camps 1942

10: Grlitz is a jewel, still widely unknown jewel. The city looks back on a history of almost 1000 years. Grlitz has the most historic buildings in Germany. Almost 4,000. Tucked away on the country's eastern most corner, Grlitz's quiet, narrow cobblestone alleys and exquisite architecture make it one of Germany's most beautiful cities. It was almost completely untouched by the destruction of the Second World War, and as a result it has more than 4,000 historic houses in styles including Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Wilhelminian, and Art Nouveau. Although the city has impressive museums, theater, and music, it's the ambience created by the casual dignity of these buildings, in their jumble of styles that makes Grlitz so attractive. Notably absent are the typical socialist eyesores and the glass-and-steel modernism found in many eastern German towns. The city center is a picture book of architecture from medieval to modern times.

12: Hannes Family Monument Fritz Hannes | Family Grave of Max and Ernest Hannes | Jim, Steve, Judi and Mrs. Mule, director of cemetery | Here on this cemetery you will find the graves of 323 Jews who were killed in the Gorlitz concentration camp between 1943-1945, murdered by the SS. There is a small garden inside the cemetery where the 323 urns with ashes are buried.

13: Kunnerwitzer Strase 17, the former apartment of Amanda, this is where she moved when Max died. Wolfgang and Jerry came here after school and did their homework. You will see a small backyard/courtyard which is probably where they also played. | Muhlweg 20. Tthe former residence of Amanda and Max.(my great-grandparents) It is a huge house on a corner. | Jim, Steve & Judi with the current residents of Kunnerwitzer Strase 17

14: The original etched glass doors to Wolfgang's apartment where he was born | Augustastrase 30. Gorlitz German The former home of Wolfgang and Jerry. This building has been completely renovated.

15: The backyard of Wolfgang's former home in Gorlitz. Judi, Steve and Jim with the current owners of the house. Amazing that we are here, in the house that our father was born in 100 years ago!

16: The Jewish Synagogue in Gorlitz currently under renovations. | This synagogue was not destroyed during the war, but fell into disrepair during the communist era.

17: Sties, sounds and smells in Gorlitz | The site of the former Hannes & Co. Gorlitz Germany

18: Berlin June 22-29, 2010 | The Berlin state senate has a program in place for former Berlin citizens who were persecuted or were forced to emigrate during the National Socialist years. It is known as the cities Emigrants’ Visitor Program. Over 33,000 former Berliners have responded to the cities invitation to visit Berlin. This program, created by the city senate in 1969, provides an invitation to return to the city of their birth, all expenses paid for 1 week. My parents accepted this invitation and visited in 1972. Almost 40 years after the inception of this program, my brother and I received an invitation and were about to set foot in Berlin, as the guest of the city. Due to budget cuts, this would be the last group to be invited. We were part of a group of 80 participants who came from all over the world. (survivors and 2nd generation) The program was an unexpected success from its inception. No one expected that so many people who suffered Nazi persecution would ever want to return to their former home. The program has helped people maintain a link to a place that was once the center of their lives. So many people just wanted to see their old home, one last time.

19: Brandenburg Gate

20: The Berlin Wall

21: The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe/Holocaust Memorial designed by American architect Peter Eisenman, The memorial consists of 2,700 concrete blocks on undulating ground.

22: Reichstag's Cupola, is a spectacular glass cupola where, at the base, you can read up on the parliament's dramatic history and then spiral up to enjoy great views of central Berlin and the leafy Tiergarten. | Steve & Judi at Town Hall where we were welcomed by the mayor of Berlin A reception at the invitation of the Berlin Senate at the Hall of Arms followed. | Boat trip on the River Spree through Berlin's historical city center. A welcome speech was given by the Speaker of the Berlin House of Representatives, Walter Momper. A buffet reception was given on board by the Berlin House of Representatives.

23: The Jewish Cemetery in Berlin-Weissensee. Julius Bach, our grandfather died in 1938 & is buried in this cemetery. The cemetery is two hundred years old and there are over 120,000 grave sites within the cemetery. Stone repaired Dec. 2011. | Julius Bach Born: 26-3-1872 Died: 11-2-1938

24: Prenslauer Berg, the area of Berlin where my mother grew up. Today, a 4 story parking lot with a post office (picture on right) on the first floor stands on the site that was once an apartment building owned by Bertha Bach and Ruth Bach Hannes.

25: The Bavarian quarter, one of the earliest Jewish neighborhoods in Berlin, There is a memorial garden and signs that have been erected along the streets. One sign reads: 1933 – Jews are no longer allowed to belong to singing groups. Another sign says: 1941 – Jews are not allowed to leave Germany.

26: The Deportation Memorial at Grunewald Train Station | This deportation memorial, created by Polish artist Karol Broniatowsi in memory of the more than 50,000 Jews of Berlin who between October 1941 and February 1943 were deported by the national Socialist state mainly from the Grunewald train station to extermination camps. A second memorial. "Track 17" was installed at the deportation ramp at the Grunewald train station. The names of concentration camp destinations are listed on the tracks along with dates and numbers of passengers. The memorial is reached by stairs up from the station. | Grunewald Train Station, Berlin. In memory of tens of thousands of Jewish citizens of Berlin, which from October 1941 to February 1945 were deported from here as the Nazi executioners sent them to the death camps and murdered.

27: Jewish Museum, Berlin One of the more moving and disturbing exhibits in the museum is the garden of exile installation. The tilted floor and the slanted steel columns create a strange feeling of discomfort and disorientation at first. After some minutes the effect of this enclosed space fades away. It is intended to be a source of education and way to depict the discomfort and disorientation of forced immigration and exile.

28: This memorial site located on the grounds of a destroyed Levetzow synagogue was used as a prison to collect people before transporting them to the concentration camps. Up to 1000 Jews were gathered here. We see a concrete sculpture of a train and concrete plaques installed on the ground; these plaques have been placed here in memory of the all the former synagogues in Berlin. Several people in our group identify the plaque of the synagogue that they had attended or that their parents had attended

29: On January 20, 1942, 15 high-ranking Nazi Party and German government officials gathered at a villa in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee to discuss and coordinate the implementation of what they called the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question." Located in a suburb on a picture post card lake, the contrast between the goings on in this villa and the peaceful surrounding is shattering. | Andrea Enderlein Schultz Judi Hannes Prof. Fritz Enderlein Potsdam (my attorney in Germany)

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  • Title: A Journey To My Roots
  • Trip to Gorlitz and Berlin Germany. 2010
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  • Started: over 6 years ago
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