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ViewMate Posting VM 25584

Submitted by Hannah & Naftali Shani

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Information Picture Question
Category: Interpretation
Approval Date: 1/13/2013 4:16 PM
Family Surname: Jacob
Country: Germany
Town: Brandenburg
Date of Image: November 16, 1942
Click the picture to enlarge

This is a scan of a copy of a letter written towards the end of 1942 from a prison (Zuchthaus und Sicherungsanstalt Brandenburg (Havel) Goerden) not far from Berlin in Germany. The letter ended up in Palestine. This is the last letter from the writer, Gerhard Jacob, before he was murdered in Auschwitz concentration camp three months later. It is written on the prison letter-head/form.

I'd appreciate your help with:
1. Deciphering the hand written part. Although I read German, there are quite some words I cannot decipher.
2. Deciphering the printed part.
3. Why would the writer have been imprisoned there?
4. As far as I know, during the Second Would War one could only write a maximum of 25 words in a written communication destined to enemy countries. Does anyone know why the writer was allowed to write a longer letter?

Thanks for your help.

Please respond privately.

Hannah Shani
Ontario, Canada

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On  Response 
1/15/2013 1:54 AM "Meine Lieben!
Ihr werdet erstaunt sein, von mir direkt Post zu erhalten. Da ich zur Ausstellung einer Urkunde alle Namen und Adressen brauche, so muss ich mich an Euch wenden. Die Einzige die mir noch fehlt ist die von Wilhelm und seiner Frau. Ich habe dieselbe schon mehrere Mal zu Hause angefragt, aber nie erhalten. Ich wuerde .. [the dark line]
Meine genaue Adresse habt Ihr jetzt auf dem Briefkopf.
Vielleicht habt Ihr auch zufaellig die Adressen von den Shanghaiern. Euern Brief vom 9.Juli habe ich erhalten und mich sehr gefreut. Ebenso ueber die beiden Aufnahmen. Ihr koennt Euch gar nicht vorstellen, ... Ihr mir damit eine Freude bereitet habt. Von Wilhelm haette ich auch gern eine besessen. Falls Ihr Wilhelm schreiben solltet, so koennt Ihr die besten Gruesse und die herzlichste Gratulation zur Geburt des Sohnes von mir ausrichten. Vielleicht wuerde er ueber Euch ein Bild ..."

this is the handwritten part. Only the line in the middle is too dark for me to read.
I don't know how to enlarge the image, and the printed part is tiny. It tells about the regulation of mail for prison inmates.
With your 25 words you probably talk about concentration camps. But here is an inmate of a "regular prison" - with different regulations (also Germans were in prison).

hope this helps,
rm
1/15/2013 4:30 AM At the top of the letter, the rules for correspodnce are printed clearly; No letters for 6 months; then one of not more than 4 reasonable sides every 6 weeks. Letters must be typed or clearly written in ink or they won't be sent. No money to be included. No packets to be sent.
Inmates are allowed a visit from relatives every 4 months, if written permission has been given.
1/15/2013 12:38 PM I sent your request to the Brandenburg Gedenkstaette (NS Memorial place for this prison in Brandenburg/Havel, opened Aug 2012.
Brandenburg-Goerden was a new prison, opened 1931, then one of the most modern prisons, see http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justizvollzugsanstalt_Brandenburg_a._d._Havel.
Under Nazi regime mostly used for preventive detention and political reasons.The printed text says, that the prisoners were not allowed to write or get letters from close relatives during the first 6 months, then every six weeks. Letters had to be written with ink or with type writer. Badly readable letters were not handed over to the prisoners. No stamps or fotos, no parcels allowed.
Each prisoner is allowed a family visitor every 4 months, after written application. Letters to the prison are only answered if a stamped envelope is included. The entrance-number (Zugangs-Nummer) of the prisoner has to be mentioned in the letters (here 116/40).
The handwritten text the prisoner asks for an address of close person which he was not able to find out, to add it on a document, but it does not say what for.
Hoping you get a better answer from Brandenburg directly.
Renate Rosenau, Alzey/Germany
1/16/2013 3:13 PM The printed text is as follows:

Zuchthaus und Sicherungsanstalt Brandenburg (Havel) Güorden
1. In den ersten 6 Monaten dürfen die Gefangenen keinen Brief, dann alle 6 Wochen einen Brief an nahe Angehörige schreiben und von ihnen empfangen. Nur Tinten- oder Maschinenschrift zulässig. Umfang höchstens 4 gewöhnlich Seiten. Schlecht lesbare Briefe werden nicht ausgehändigt. Keine Marken oder Geld in die Briefe einlegen, keine Ansichtskarten, Päckchen oder Pakete senden!
2. Jeder Gefangene darf alle 4 Monate Besuch Angeöriger empfangen. Die Genehmigung muß vorher schriftlich eingeholt werden.
3. Anfragen and die Verwaltung werden nur beantwortet, wenn Freiumschlag beiliegt.
4. Die Zugangsnummer des Gefangen ist stets auf den Umschlag zu schreiben.
Zugangs-Nr. 116/40 Brandenburg (H) Görden, den 15 Nov. 1942
Winterfeldallee 22

The text on the dark stripe would be better readable at a higher resolution (at least 200 dpi, see FAQ). Here is what I could read:

Ich würde Euch bitten mir dieselbe umgehend einzusenden.

This seems to be the first page of the letter, as the text ends in the middle of a sentence.
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