Thursday 2 February 2012

Thumbs up to the Red Cross

Yesterday we had something quite exciting in the post. We’d requested information about Clara Lehrs after she’d left Stuttgart. We knew that she’d been transported to Theresienstadt and then on to Treblinka where she was murdered. But we had very little information about her time in Rexingen. We knew she went there after she left Stuttgart. So, about three months ago we appealed to the Red Cross International Tracing Service.
And the letter arrived yesterday. It confirmed much of what we knew already form the records at Yad Vashem. But the Red Cross were also able to give us her last address in Rexingen. That makes it easier to carry on our research there.
They weren’t able to confirm the exact time and nature of her death / murder. We, with them, assume that she was killed on arrival at Treblinka. She was on transport B/r and a letter from the former Czechoslovakian Red Cross on 25 May 1951 confirms that only 10% of the people on this transport returned after the war. My other research suggests that she was taken along with other old people to a pit near the entrance to Treblinka where they were all killed by firing squad. They were probably not gassed.      
The Red Cross also included in their letter a copy of Clara’s index card which describes her transportation from Theresienstadt to Treblinka. At least the collaborators had the grace to name her Clara Lehrs on the documentation. It was Nazi practice to name her Klara Sarah Lehrs. This is how she was registered in Stuttgart.           
So thumbs up to the Red Cross Tracing Service.          

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