I found harrowing lost letter from Holocaust victim who escaped Auschwitz death train & I delivered it 76 years on

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I found harrowing lost letter from Holocaust victim who escaped Auschwitz death train & I delivered it 76 years on

A LETTER written by a woman who jumped from a train to escape being taken to Auschwitz was delivered to her relative – some 76 years after it was written.

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

Ilse Loewenberg survived the Holocaust but after the war wrote to her sister to give her the devastating news the rest of the family were among the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis.

I found harrowing lost letter from Holocaust victim who escaped Auschwitz death train & I delivered it 76 years on

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Ilse Loewenberg jumped from a train to escape being sent to Auschwitz Credit: Supplied

I found harrowing lost letter from Holocaust victim who escaped Auschwitz death train & I delivered it 76 years on

Global Tech News Daily

Chelsey Brown is an heirloom detective who returns artefacts to rightful owners Credit: Supplied

I found harrowing lost letter from Holocaust victim who escaped Auschwitz death train & I delivered it 76 years on

The letter Ilse wrote to her sister Carla revealing their family's fate Credit: Supplied

Incredibly the letter turned up in a New York flea market and the woman who found it was able to send it to Ilse’s great niece.

Chelsey Brown, 28, managed to track down Jill Butler and give her the letter written by her beloved relative Ilse, who died in 2001 aged 92.

“When I first called her she thought it was a scam but I said ‘no, no it’s real’.  She was over the moon, she was in shock,” she told The Sun Online for Holocaust Memorial Day.

“These items were meant to be with her. It was like bringing Ilse to life for a few moments.”

The heartbreaking letter was written in August 1945 to sister Carla and broke the news their mum and dad, sisters Lieselotte and Margarete all died in Auschwitz.

And to add to the tragedy, her own husband had been shot by the Gestapo.

“Through the kindness of our liberators, I am able to give you a sign of life from me after so many years… Dad, Mom, Grete, Lottchen and Hermann: no one is alive anymore,” the letter reads.

“My pain is unspeakably big. My husband, whom I married 3.5 years ago, was also taken from me! “When there will be a regular mail connection, I will tell you everything in detail.” 

Chelsey is an interior designer and influencer who scours flea markets to pick out vintage items for her 71,000 Instagram followers.

But over the year she also came across personal items and since last summer has turned heirloom detective to reunite them with families – using her own money.

She explained there is a thriving market for Holocaust family heirlooms such as letters but believes they should be with their rightful owners.

“Holocaust documentation is sold underground or online for really high prices so it’s rare to find these documents at the thrift or flea market,” she said.

I knew that I had to get this back to the right family

Chelsey Brown

“I made a relationship with a vendor who would bring me in letters and things from World War One, World War Two.

“He happened to mention Holocaust letters that he got 30 years ago. It took me about a month to persuade him to bring them into the flea market.”

She began to read the letters, which were in German, with the help of a translator but as she began to read Ilse’s, her incredible story jumped off the page.

“So I basically lied to the seller and said it was a letter about food stamps because if he knew what it was about he wouldn’t sell it to me or charge me thousands.”

After getting hold of the letter and other related documents in late October, she was able to track down Jill before Thanksgiving using MyHeritage.com and a lot of Google research.

“I knew that I had to get this back to the right family,” she said.

I found harrowing lost letter from Holocaust victim who escaped Auschwitz death train & I delivered it 76 years on

Chelsey said she was determined to reunite the Ilse's letter with her surviving relatives Credit: Supplied

I found harrowing lost letter from Holocaust victim who escaped Auschwitz death train & I delivered it 76 years on

Jill Butler initially thought the letter was a scam Credit: Supplied

I found harrowing lost letter from Holocaust victim who escaped Auschwitz death train & I delivered it 76 years on

Jill at her wedding with holding Ilse's hand with Carla next to her Credit: Supplied

“We talked on the phone for hours about Ilse and she remains in the back of my mind when I do these returns. Ilse is the reason I keep doing this. It’s people like her that drives me.”

She said the documents are often left behind in house moves or when families break up but she says her and Jill “have no idea” how the letter ended up on the market.

For Chelsey, who is herself Jewish and lost family on in Holocaust, the heirlooms are an important record.

“They prove the Holocaust did happen. Years from now these documents are what preserve this moment in history.

Ilse was born in Germany in 1908 and when Adolf Hitler came to power joined an anti-Nazi resistance organisation.

In February she was arrested sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp but while on a fast-moving train, she escaped by jumping, Poland.

She went back to Berlin and continued to hide but was arrested again after nine months and spent the rest of the war in prison in Berlin until she was liberated by Russian troops.

TRAIN LEAP

In 1948 she migrated to the United States and settled in New York and later married Ludwig Loewenberg.

Carla also later immigrated to the United States and married husband Siegfried but never had children though his brother Ludwig did.

Jill is his granddaughter and she was very close to her great aunt Ilse, with all three pictured at Jill’s wedding.

After Chelsey reunited her with her sister’s letter, she wrote a moving letter of thanks that summed up what it meant to her family.

“My whole family is truly in awe of all you have done for us,” it read.

“Almost everyone's first reaction of ‘is this a scam?’ quickly transformed into bewilderment at your selfless dedication to reuniting heirlooms with families.

“We all loved our Great-Aunt Ilse and are thrilled beyond words to read her thoughts in her own handwriting after she emerged from the depths of the European inferno.

“May God bless your noble work and may you receive many blessings in return for all you do for families like mine.”

I found harrowing lost letter from Holocaust victim who escaped Auschwitz death train & I delivered it 76 years on

Jews arriving at Auschwitz, where Ilse's family were killed Credit: Getty – Contributor

Eva Stories, based on a diary of a girl murdered in Auschwitz, imagines how an Instagram story would portray her fate in the Holocaust

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