While I can’t be certain, I am assuming the lady in the photo with Gerd was his wartime girlfriend, Carry. My grandfather never found out what happened to Carry, only that she was deported to Germany/Austria around 1942. My grandfather even offered to marry Carry in hopes it would prevent her from being deported.
This identification booklet, issued by the Jewish Community in Amsterdam, dictated that my grandfather was employed as a shoemaker for the Jewish community. I believe this was on the documents my grandfather had to perpetually carry around. My grandfather told me that because he was designated as a “shoemaker for the Jewish community” it kept him off the deportation list.
This is also one of the only photos taken during German occupation/Holocaust. There is something both equally sad and eerie looking at this picture. He had already lost his brother, and his expression is so overtly solemn I cannot help but immediately feel a sense of loss.
Both Gerd and Hans Jürgen spent a year attending an international school in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Henriette saved every letter written by both of her sons during their stay in Switzerland. In this letter Gerd is wishing his father a happy birthday. My grandfather (pictured in the upper left) always described his father as stern, almost emotionless. This letter, along with the hundreds of other letters, really starts to alter my perception of Oscar. My hope, after intensive translation, is to construct a more accurate portrait of Oscar and Henriette.