Saga of a German-Jewish Family

The Kocherthalers

Introduction

       In the 1920's, when Hitler rose to prominence, 566,000 Jews lived in Germany.  Some 200,000 German Jews eventually fell victim to the Nazi extermination policy.  Many were saved, mostly by emigrating from the country.  The actual number of Jews who managed to flee Germany between 1933 and 1945 was 346,000.  This includes 98,000 who emigrated to other European countries, later occupied by the Germans.  Of this latter number, an estimated 70,000 were deported during the German occupation of these other countries.  About 137,000 Jews were deported directly from Germany, of whom about 9,000 survived.

        The philatelic materials reproduced below chronicle the Kocherthaler family from the beginning of 1936 through the end of the war.  The Kocherthalers were a German-Jewish family living in Berlin.  Among the members of the family found in these materials are (1) Siegfried Kocherthaler and his wife Lilly residing at 38 Reichstrasse, Charlottenburg 9, Berlin; (2) Fred Kocherthaler  residing at 37 Reichstrasse, Charlottenburg 9, Berlin; and (3) Hanne Kocherthaler who appears to be the daughter of Siegfried and Lilly.

Berlin-1936

    Below are thumbnails of various postcards to and from the Kocherthalers while residing in Berlin in 1936.  The first is the front and back of a postcard to Siegfried in Berlin postmarked January 15, 1936, from Luxemburg.  The second is the front and back of a postcard to Fred in Berlin postmarked January 15, 1936, from Paris. Please click on the thumbnail to see the full image, and then click your back key or "Postcards 1-2" in the left frame to return.

     

        Below are thumbnails of two more postcards.  The first is the front and back of a postcard to Siegfried in Berlin postmarked May 4, 1936.   The second is the front and back of a postcard to Siegfried in Berlin postmarked June 9, 1936, from the Isle of Wight. Please click on the thumbnail to see the full image, and then click your back key or "Postcards 3-4" in the left frame to return.

     

        Below are thumbnails of two more postcards.  The first is the front and back of a postcard to Siegfried in Berlin postmarked July 2, 1936, from Hanne in Denmark.   The second is the front and back of a postcard to Hanne in Denmark postmarked July 4, 1936, from Siegfried in Berlin.  Please click on the thumbnail to see the full image, and then click your back key or "Postcards 5-6" in the left frame to return.

     

        Below are thumbnails of two more postcards. The first is the front and back of 1936 Olympic postcard to Hanne in Berlin postmarked August 1, 1936. The second is the front and back of a postcard to Siegfried in Berlin postmarked November 7, 1936, from La Bastide de Serous in the Ariege area of France. Please click on the thumbnail to see the full image, and then click your back key or "Postcards 7-8" in the left frame to return.

     

    Paris- 1937-1942

        Sometime in 1937, the Kocherthalers emigrated from Germany, with Siegfried and his family moving to Paris.  Their first address in Paris was 23 Rue Caulaincourt, Paris 18.  It appears that Hanne Kocherthaler lived in Luxemburg before going to Paris.  Below are thumbnails of two items.  The first is the front and back of a postcard to Siegfried in Paris from Hanne in Luxemburg.  The second is a cover to Hanne in Luxemburg postmarked September 9, 1937, from Essen, Germany.  Please click on the thumbnail to see the full image, and then click your back key or "Items 9-10" in the left frame to return.

   

        Below are thumbnails of two more postcards.  The first is the front and back of a postcard to Hanne in Paris postmarked September 27, 1937, from Berlin.   The second is the front and back of a postcard to Siegfried in Paris postmarked June 17, 1938, from London.  Please click on the thumbnail to see the full image, and then click your back key or "Postcards 11-12" in the left frame to return.

     

        Sometime in 1939, Siegfried moved to 15 Rue du Square Carpeaux, Paris 18.  Below are thumbnails of two more items. The first is the front and back of a cover to Jules Hochterthaler in New York postmarked May 23, 1939, from Siegfried in Paris. The second is the front and back of a postcard to Siegfried in Paris postmarked June 6, 1939, from Berlin. Please click on the thumbnail to see the full image, and then click your back key or "Postcards 13-14" in the left frame to return.

     

        Below are thumbnails of two more items. The first is the front and back of a postcard to Siegfried in Paris postmarked November 14, 1939, from Siegfried in Paris. The second is a cover to Siegfried in Paris postmarked March 1, 1940, from Bridgeport, Connecticut. Please click on the thumbnail to see the full image, and then click your back key or "Items 15-16" in the left frame to return.

   

    French Concentration and Transit Camps

        Sometime after the German occupation of France, both Sigfried and Fred Kochertahler were interned at French camps.  For a discussion of the French Camps, go to French Camps.  Below are thumbnails of the front and back of two postcards from Lilly in Paris to Siegfried at the camp at Gurs.  The first is postmarked November 25, 1940, and the second is postmarked December 3, 1940.  Please click on the thumbnail to see the full image, and then click your back key or "Postcards 17-18" in the left frame to return.

     

        Fred was first sent to the camp at Gurs.  Later, he was transferred to the camp at Les Milles.  Below are thumbnails of two covers to Fred.  The first is to Fred at Gurs postmarked December 18, 1940, from Jules Kocherthaler in New York.  The second is to Fred at Les Milles postmarked June 21, 1941, from Casablanca.  Please click on the thumbnail to see the full image, and then click your back key or "Items 19-20" in the left frame to return.

 

    Post War

        Fred made it to the United States.  Below are thumbnails of two items.  The first is a cover to Fred in Bridgeport from Cuba.  The second is the front and back of a postcard to Fred postmarked May 18, 1946 from Cuba.  Please click on the thumbnail to see the full image, and then click your back key or "Items 21-22" in the left frame to return.

   

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Copyright 2003 Edward Victor