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Photos Reunited With Family

By Suzanne Reisman

“After my bubbe passed away, I found two photos of a baby in a shoe box. On the back was the unfamiliar name Julek Szczupak. I wanted to return the photos to his family, so I emailed several people who were listed in JewishGen’s Family Finder, asking if they knew such a person.”

Old Letters Reconnect a Family

By Silvia Rodríguez with Leda Lizette Blime Altura

“Leda showed me some carefully saved letters. The letters, written in German in 1938 and 1939, contained desperate pleas from Vienna asking Leda’s grandfather to obtain permission to allow them to immigrate to Argentina with their son Bruno.”

Who Was Sally Rehfisch?

Peter Vanlaw

“I found a few old letters of hers that she'd kept in a box in a hall closet. Since they were hand written in German, I couldn't read them. So I filed them away. But then I discovered that she'd also left me half a dozen family photo albums. That's when I really got the urge to find out more about my family.”

Margot and Fiep

Peter Vanlaw

“What made it so dramatic was that I didn't find her name in some musty public record, but in the subtext of a headline that turned up in a Google search, while looking for anyone named Rehfisch.”

EDITORS' NOTE - July 2016

Old letters and photographs play an important role in the following success stories. These stories take us to Argentina, Germany, Austria, Poland, and the Netherlands.

Suzanne Reisman finds two photos of an unknown baby after her grandmother passes away. Through JewishGen’s Family finder, she searches for the family of the baby whose unfamiliar name is written on the back of the photos. She also wants to learn how this baby, who was born in a Displaced Persons Camp, was known to her own family.

Silvia Rodríguez’s friend Leda had some old family letters from the late 1930s that she had never read because they were in German, a language she didn’t understand. Silvia translates these letters into Spanish for Leda and then into English for this story—letters containing desperate pleas for help in emigrating from Vienna to Argentina.

Peter Vanlaw gives us two stories about his Rehfisch family. In Part 1, the photo of a headstone in a Berlin Cemetery, taken by another JewishGenner on his behalf, helps Peter to solve a mystery about Sally Rehfisch. In Part 2, he finds a reference to a Margot Rehfisch who is connected to the beloved Dutch illustrator and author of many children’s books, Fiep Westendorp. But who is this Margot Rehfisch and is she related to his family?

Anna Blanchard has volunteered her time and talents as the Webmaster for JewishGen’s Success! Stories for the past four years. She has created beautiful layouts of the inspiring stories you send us. Anna is now stepping down to pursue other ventures. We will miss her greatly, but we send her off with our gratitude and best wishes.

We continue to be amazed at the stories of families lost and families found that we bring you in these pages. The volunteers at JewishGen—and the readers of the discussions lists—hear of such reports nearly every day. We hope that you, too, will have success in your research using the abundant resources of JewishGen and we encourage you to send us your stories.

Nancy Siegel, Editor                                                            Anna Blanchard, Webmaster
San Francisco, California                                                  Saint Louis, Missouri


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Updated by AB on July 10, 2016.

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