Cherries on the Elbe : the Jewish children´s home in Blankenese 1946 - 1948

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WIEHN, Erhard Roy, ed., 2013. Cherries on the Elbe : the Jewish children´s home in Blankenese 1946 - 1948. 1. Auflage. Konstanz : Hartung-Gorre. ISBN 978-3-86628-428-9

@book{Wiehn2013Cherr-25818, isbn={978-3-86628-428-9}, publisher={Konstanz : Hartung-Gorre}, title={Cherries on the Elbe : the Jewish children´s home in Blankenese 1946 - 1948}, year={2013}, edition={1. Auflage}, editor={Wiehn, Erhard Roy} }

deposit-license 2013 Konstanz : Hartung-Gorre 2014-01-13T09:48:32Z Cherries on the Elbe : the Jewish children´s home in Blankenese 1946 - 1948 eng 2014-01-13T09:48:32Z 978-3-86628-428-9 The impression one obtains reading Cherries on the Elbe is that the Jewish children's home at the handsome Warburg estate in Hamburg-Blankenese overlooking the Elbe River was established in January 1946. Technically that could be correct because the date coincides with the arrival of the first group of children from the displaced person's camp of Bergen-Belsen. However, when I arrived in Hamburg by train from Neustadt/Holstein's displaced persons' camp in late September or early October 1945, I wandered around aimlessly with a small suitcase at Hamburg's largely destroyed but bustling main railroad terminal (Hauptbahnhof) until the German police picked me up and brought me to the estate which was not an abandoned place. On the contrary, it was inhabited by a lively and variegated bunch of Jewish teenagers and some adults. Most had survived the dreadful acts of barbarism that had been inflicted on them in ghettos, concentration and labor camps that were administered by Germans and their collaborators.<br /><br />The idyllic setting of the estate, the ample food, the benevolent and sensitive American Joint Distribution Committee together with the British Jewish Relief Unit administrators and teachers mostly from the Jewish Brigade notwithstanding, no one thought that the estate was the final destination. The burning desire of most survivors was to leave the cursed soil of Germany for the ancient homeland of the Jews. That feeling was reinforced by the administrators and teachers who, in addition to teaching Hebrew, impressed the survivors with the rich history of the Jewish people and the geography of the Holy Land. The Sabbath was welcomed by the lighting of candles and the usual prayer preceding the fine meal at the estate's White House. Following it we gathered as we did most evenings for cultural activities that included the singing of Hebrew songs, mostly composed by Jewish settlers in Palestine, and folk-dancing.<br /><br />Why publish this work in English now? Not only does it depict a slice of life, une tranche de vie, of orphaned Jewish youngsters who had recently been liberated from the abomination brought upon Jews by Germans and their accomplices and were searching for survivors and a new future, albeit one that was bound to bear traces of the shattered past, but it also fills a gap in the story of the survivors. For instance, the portrayal of Blankenese, the confluence of the charitable and humane Warburg family with the American Joint, British Jewish Relief Unit and Jewish Brigade in their endeavours to rehabilitate as much as humanly possible children with destroyed childhoods, is little known. Because of the enormous resources committed to Holocaust studies in the United States, and in view of the fact that English is the lingua franca, this story will have a global reach. Moreover, the timeliness of the translation reflects the need to counter the works of charlatan writers who, out of ignorance or prejudice or malice, deny that the Holocaust ever took place and dismiss eyewitness accounts, documentary evidence, and scholarly research as inventions by Jews and their sympathizers. Wiehn, Erhard Roy

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