the same surprise you had receiving a mail from a genuine cousin I had as well.
The person who discovered you was not me. It was a woman from the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam who I found on my search for some more information about the lost part of my family, My first idea was to get from her historical documents like lists.
she showed me some sides ( the ones of Henrietta and Margarethe) and the one of a real cousin.
I hardly could believe it.
when I accessed your side I was very stunned about our amazing resemblance especially to my brother at least what your photo shows.
If we were brothers nobody would be surprised.
I hope one day we have the chance to test this.
And as you write that you have a brother wno lices in Finland means that I have TWO cousins!! Incredebly!!!
Tell me about you, what are you working, about your family, have you founded your own family, tell me about your brother, what is his name, is he younger than you? What is he doing in Finland?
Tell me about your mother Elly, does she have sisters or brothers, did you know your grandmother Clara?
I am glad that you found a family which gave you the home you needed although, of course, I'm wondering why this happened.
Do you have contact to other members of the van Praag family who are still alive?
Do you know Hans van Praag ( the son of Zacharias, is this correct?)who should about 80 years old if he is still alive?
Do you have some information what happened to Zacharias, Joseph and Clara and their partners during and afther world war two ?
What were the names of their wives and the name of your grandfather, Clara's husband?
Do exist children, other cousins? Sorry so many questions............
I don't live in a town and also not really in the bush. I live on a farm 5km away from the next village and the next paved road and 15 km from the next town ( about 40.000 inhabitants )
To leave on rainy days, we need a four wheel drive car because of claylike soil which turns like driving or walking on soap. So this is a little bush alike.
As the house is situated in the lower part of a valley there is hardly a signal for mobile phone which means also internet because it is the same signal.
For internet acces I have to go to the small village where is installed a WIFI, a free and public internet acces. In this days I will make a new try to install an antenna to capture the signal. If it works we could have a more direct contact and tlaking together via Skype. That would be great.
My grandfather Willem, the uncle of your biological mother, died in spring 1933 a natural death (Ileus or Intestinal Obstruction), diseade which occurred on a bus trip to Bussum where he wanted to visit his family. He was buried there.
My mother was only five years old at that time and she has only very few but very positive memories of her father.
Her oldest sister Greti married a Britisch citizen in the 1930's and lived from then on in England. Greti died in 2012, her husband Leonard some years before. They had one son< Michael, who lived from 1937 to 1988 when he died because of a stomach cancer.
He was father of three children ( a little younger than we ) Jeremy, Johanna and Rebecca who all live in England.
Traudi, the other sister of my mother, stayed in England between 1936 and 1945 together with Greti.
After the war she married a Dutchman ( gerrit Louwaars) and died in 1983 ( in my first letter to you I wrote wrongly 1988)
They had no children.
Traudi had contact to the van Praag family in Holland for example with Hans whom I mentioned before.
Unfortunately during her lifetime never came into my mind to adk her about this,
The history of the survival of my mother is really interesting.
My grandparents were musicians in Essen ( Rurh region ) and because of this activity well known in the city. Till 1941 it was possible to protect my grandmother end my mother from persecution. One day in 1941 the director of the school where my mother studied visited my grandmother alerting her that it wasn't possible anymore to protect them and recommended to leave Essen immediately.
( my mother coincidentally met the daugther of this man some weeks ago in the same road where they lived in Essen and where this lady is still living, She was very happy that my mother survived this time. They spend some days together.)
They found refuge in the house of a sister-in-law of my grandmother ( a widdow lik my grandmother) in a village near Frankfurt/Main.
There they were orientated by the brother of this sister-in-law who was a dentist and the local Nazi leader to hide their Jewish origin and tell the officials that they were Dutch people living in Germany. ( the german law determined that the nationality of the father/husband determinded the nationality of his children/wife) Therefor somebody had to destroy the documents of their jewish origin in their hometown Essen which happened by someone anonymous.
My mother and grandmother lived together with this courageous sister-in-law till the end of war hiding their real identity and always afraid that the truth could come out.
They survived thanks to a chain of disobedient people in a totalitarian sysem every one of them risking her/his life: a small number of anonymous heroes which did exist and who never thought that they made somethin exttraordinary.
Many details could be added but that would be too much for this letter.
For sure we have time to complete this history.
I'm interested in another detail. I would like to know if our relatives were active members of the jewish community perhaps not during Nazi persecution but before or afterwards.
The lady of the jewish historical museum wrote that if there existed lists of members they wer destroyed durin Nazi occupation. Are you active in the Jewish community?
What do you know about this?
What do the family count?
do you know van Praags who you could adk or make contact for me?
who is Arnold Italiaander who reported the death of Henriette and Margaretha to Yad Vashem some time ago?
I hope to hear soon from you
Hugs and greetings from Christoph
een onbekend familielid zoekt contact
een onverwacht mailtje uit Brazilië
er kwam een mail van een onbekend familielid, die in Brazilië blijkt te wonen, De kleinzoon van Willem van Praag, die de broer van mijn grootmoeder was, Clara van Praag.