Fred Bradley (Fritz Brandes)
died on 10 May 2004 at Oxford, one day before his 89th birthday.
He attended the Neue Gymnasium in Bamberg, where he obtained his Abitur. Early in 1938 he was sent to a firm in Frankfurt-am-Main to prepare him for a career in his father’s fine fabric business. In November 1938 he was imprisoned in Buchenwald. On 10 May 1939, he was able to come to Britain. After a short spell in a woodyard, he joined Bloomsbury House, London, the main centre of support for Jewish refugees. In May 1940, he was interned in Huyton camp as an enemy alien and then sent to Canada. Although his USA Visa had meantime arrived, the Americans did not allow him to immigrate directly from Canada.
On his return from Canada, he joined the British army, eventually the Infantry regiment Duke of York. Later he was sent to Scotland as a Ski instructor. The army demanded that he changed his name, in case he was ever captured by the Germans and identified. He was later sent to India, never rose above an Orderly Sergeant, and came home in 1946.
In 1944, he had married Hanna Zunz, a member of the family of the famous Rabbi and Scholar. They had a son and a daughter. Peter is a Member of Parlia- ment, sitting for the Labour party in a Shropshire constituency.
After the War Fred studied photography, then obtained a job with a Birmingham photographer. Later he worked for the Leitz company as a translator of technical and sales literature, first in Leicester, then in Oxford, where he became a photographer in the Sir William Dunn School of Medicine. He continued his translation work even after he had retired at 70.
In spite of the atrocious way in which his father, mother and his father’s unmarried sister were done to death, Fred loved his native city, where he had good anti-Nazi friends from his grammar school days. He took part in annual reunions with them until a few years ago.
died suddenly and unexpectedly on 3 November in Bamberg, aged 62. She was largely responsible for promoting the knowledge of Jewish religion and history in and around Bamberg, as also in Villach, Carinthia, Austria where she had a house.
Her positive influence on Christian - Jewish - Muslim relations in Bamberg and the importance of her educational work in the schools can hardly be exaggerated.
About 200 people from all over the region and from Villach in Austria attended her funeral on 9 November at the Jewish cemetery in Bamberg, probably the largest number since before the last War and testimony to the many people whom Chriss had touched in one context or another.
The Fränkischer Tag reported her death in an obituary on 8 November and her funeral on 10 November. The Heinrichsblatt, Nr.47 of 21.11.2004, published an appraisal of her life.
My recent operation had prevented me from attending her funeral, but I wrote the Eulogy, which was read on my behalf by Cantor Arieh Rudolph. I tried to remember the many aspects of Chriss’s life and I decided to share with my readers what I knew. I have therefore placed my Eulogy as an appendix to this Letter.
On 15 August, my cousin Willy Loebl died
in Chanhassan near Minneapolis, USA, aged 83. Willy left Bamberg for the USA early in 1939 on his own, before his family was able to flee to Britain. He did have a hard time to start with, but eventually succeeded. During the War, he volunteered for the US Army and thus obtained immediate citizenship.
In 1943 he was transferred to military Intelligence. After training as an interrogator of prisoners of War, teams of two officers and four privates were formed and sent on training maneuvers.
Advanced to Staff Sergeant, Willy and his team landed in Liverpool in April 1944.
Assigned to a fighting Division, he was involved in the Battle of the Bulge, including in hand-to-hand fighting with a German paratrooper. He was wounded in the left arm and awarded the Purple Heart. He took part in further battles in Alsace-Lorraine and in the Ruhr.
On VE Day, 9 May 1945, Willy was on leave with his family in Newcastle upon Tyne and, being one of only a few Americans in the city, received much friendly attention.
He spent the summer and autumn 1945 as an interpreter with the Central Intelligence Command (CIC), helping to round up Nazis. A few months at Man- chester University followed. A bout of Hepatitis delayed his return to Germany until the summer of 1946. He became a full-time member of CIC with the rank of Lieutenant. He was stationed variously in Würzburg, Schweinfurt and Bamberg, assisting with the de-nazification process. By the time he had to leave the Army because he had married a German woman, he had attained the rank of Captain.
After his return to the USA, he worked for various industrial concerns. While in Kansas, he began a demanding 4 year part-time course in Business Administration and Foreign Trade at Rockhurst College, where he graduated with Honours.
His last - and longest - employment was with the Celanese Corporation, for which he visited 62 countries to introduce a new plastic material. When the company was acquired by Cargill in 1974, Willy transferred to the Electronics division in Minneapolis, where he worked as Operations Manager until his retire-ment in 1986.
Willy was first married to Baroness Alix de Marees. The marriage was dissolved in 1958. There was one child, Mark, born 1952, who had graduated in Chemistry before being killed in a car accident in 1958.
In 1959, William married Helen Lucille McCartan. There were no children from the marriage. For the last 10 years, Willy suffered from chronic Leukemia, which was kept under reasonable control by medication until a few months before his death.
I heard only belatedly of the passing of Martha Rose nee Ehrlich,
probably in 2003, but not being in touch with her family, I cannot do much more than report the fact.
I remember her as a very pretty girl, who is shown in a group picture in my book Juden in Bamberg: Die Jahrzehnte vor dem Holocaust, page 108. She and her brother Fritz escaped to the USA. Their parents did not make it, their US visas arrived in Bamberg on the day in October 1941 when all further emigration of Jews was banned and they were consumed by the Holocaust.
She studied French at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, one of the few young Jewish people from Bamberg, who managed to go to University after 1933, and she spent her working life as a teacher of French. She had a son and a daughter. Her husband Kurt had predeceased her.
Dr. med. Siegfried Rudolph,
died after a long illness on 27 February 2004 in Mitwitz near Kronach at the age of 88.
Ever since his service in the army in Russia in the last War, he had prayed for the defeat of Germany, because when his troup marched past a Jewish Kolchose (a sort of kibbutz), he saw the bodies of the members recently murdered lying about. Originally from Leipzig, he settled in Mitzwitz (near Kronach) after the War and established his practice in a building on the site of the house of my ancestor Gottfried Bamberger. From then on he became one of the most respected re- searchers and historians of the Jews on the Upper Main River. He sorted the Jewish files of the former squires in the Water castle, he surveyed the Burgkunstadt cemetery, where he, helped by his son-in-law, the Archivist Dr. Rainer Hambrecht, photographed about 1200 remaining headstones for the American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati. He was always ready to answer questions from Jewish family genealogists all over the world and to receive and guide descendents visiting the area.
In 1997 he was honoured by the National Jewish Museum in Washington DC., but as he was already in poor health, he was unable to travel there and I was asked to make the award at his home in Mitwitz. I met with the Mayor of Mitwitz and with his family, including Dr. Hambrecht, director of the Bavarian State Archive in Coburg. He has since been transferred to the equivalent but larger Bavarian State Archive in Bamberg, where he has been very helpful to me.
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