Helping the Dead

View of the Natzweiler concentration camp. 1945.

You know I find people right?

When first formed I was successful in reuniting over 100 mothers and children.  I have this talent for data, online databases, transcribing and piecing together pieces of stories. I have deep felt passion for reconnecting family members separated by adoption and events outside of their control.

I am in the midst of my most personal search yet. I am searching for my father’s father.  The day after my dad passed, my sister was searching my parent’s basement and found a treasure of documents that once been my grandmothers.  In side the box of musty, weathered paper, we found my father’s fathers name. You may recall my grandmother had my father, out-of-wedlock, in 1941.  The legend we had been told was that Gramma and her love were both captured by the Germans. During their confinement, they fell in love and got pregnant. My grandmother was in her early 30s as was her love, my grandfather. Ludwig.

Yesterday, while translating documents and searching the net I found his concentration camp record. (Go ahead and gasp, I did).  I know what camp he was held in, when he was released, and more.  I know that at some point he and Gramma were separated (perhaps she was never captured but he was?). I have records spanning many years that detail my grandmothers efforts to find him. I have notes from the Relief Society for Poles informing Gramma he was not on the lists of the dead poles in Germany nor was he elsewhere. That note is dated 1949. I have another document dated 1950 noting his repatriation from Germany and putting him in Poland in 1946.  I have a stack of other papers, nearly all in Polish, that likely tell more of the search story.

You know this touches me somewhere deep.  A single mother spending years trying to find out of the man she loved left her or was killed.  A young boy, now a deceased man, growing up without ever knowing his father’s real name or his story and why things had come to pass. (My grandmother and father NEVER discussed this). Me, a grown woman, knowing only half my family history.

I am gonna find him for you Gramma. You did not have the luxury of the internet or my sleuthing skills. I will find your Ludwig, my grandfather. I will pick up where you left off.

And oh, yeah, my real last name would have been Jurczyk.  Dad was given my grandmother’s last name due to being illegitimate.  I would have been Suz Jurczyk.

Imagine that.

4 Thoughts.

  1. Whoa! Like…double whoa!

    I can’t wait to hear more – this kinda stuff is fascinating. Talk about hitting your heart, though. Wow. Just…wow.

  2. Wow Suz!! What an amazing story. I can’t wait to hear what you find.

    I knew you found people, but had no idea how many you had reunited. That is fabulous!

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