Mitteilungsblatt des Bochumer Bürgervereins

Bochum, September 2004                             Nr. 8


Bericht Rosemarie Molsers geb. Marienthal über ihren Besuch in Deutschland

Vom 19. Mai bis 3. Juni 2004 besuchte Rosemarie Molser geb. Marienthal aus Rochester (USA) Deutschland. Unter dem Titel „Trip to Germany May 2004“ schickte sie uns folgenden Bericht:

„They are many reasons why this trip was important to me. Reunion, closure, friendship, culture and language. But it would not have been possible to plan my journey and to describe my experiences without the help, guidance and effort of my good friends Ingrid and Hubert Schneider. Their patience and devotion enabled me, at age 83, to return to my roots and honor the graves of four grandparents, Herbert’s parents and many uncles and aunts.

I left Rochester on May 17, 04 to go to Philadelphia to catch my plane to go to Frankfurt. Many hours later, delays caused by weather, misunderstandings by the airlines, after spending the night in Philadelphia, I arrived in Frankfurt 24 hours later than planned. My friends were waiting for me, I was tired but eager to start my adventure.

My first day in Bochum. All the familiar sights, my parents house, the theater, the highschool, a few familiar names, this is where I was born, but Rochester USA is home. For supper white asparagus with new potatoes, what a treat. After sleeping for 12 hours I am ready. A wonderful breakfast: fresh rolls, long talks with Hubert about the old jewish community and all the people we both know or knew. He is totally devoted to the history of the old jewish community und knows what happened to each and everyone of us. Short visit with my old friend Doris. She ist not too well but it is always a joy to see her.

Today is the day of the reunion with my classmates at the home of Christel. I have mixed feeling after more than 65 years how it will go. My friend Inge has come by train from Munich. How will we bridge the enormous gap, a brutal war, the holocaust to find traces of the old friendship. We are all so different. The war and Hitler was a nightmare but my sense of loneliness and abandonment never quite left me. I tried hard but the ghost of the holocaust was present at the table which was prepared with great care and love. My generation is deeply involved in their own memories of those horrible years, my vision of Auschwitz and their vision of Dresden burning. But there was love and warmth and a genuine feeling of happiness to be together. It is special to be together with people who knew my familiy and share my childhood memories. Inge and Christel and I met once more for a lovely lunch and I think we will stay in touch with each other. To get answers to vital questions is not possible and I have decided for myself that it will have to stay that way.

The next day we left for Karlsruhe where my mother was born and my maternal grandparents are buried. We went to the jewish cemetery, found the graves, than to my grandparents home and looked at the windows of my grandparents apartment. After lunch we went to two resorts, memories of my childhood, Bad Herrenalb and Baden Baden where my parents got engaged. Than off to Sondern, the Schneiders summerhome, a lovely peaceful place. Than back to Bochum, a long visit with Doris and her son. We really love each other and I hope she feels better. At the door when we said Good bye she embraced me and asked me to forgivee for not having been a better friend in 1936. But I knew and I told her that it was not possible.

The next day was spent with Ingrid and Walter Wölk. We went to Aachen to the graves of my fathers parents. All the jewish cemeteries are kept very well and a man who was responsible for the history took us and found the graves immediately. He than took us to the Honorcemetery to the grave of one of my uncles who was killed in the WW 1.

The next day I was asked to talk to the students of the Anne Frank school in Bochnum. Polite audience but I get the feeling for those children our stories are ancient history. At night a wonderful party at Schneiders. About 20 people, all caring and interested, all involved with the history of the Jews, a very intresting evening.

The next day I had a meeting with the former principal of my old highschool in Bochum, Mrs. Burchhardt-Kamplade. She is working about her school in 1933-1945. She was interested in my memories of the school. In the evening we went to the theater to see a stunning performance of Henry IV. Shakespeare in German, quite an experience.

Than off to Berlin. Wonderful trip through the German countryside, we saw where Germany was devided, arrived in Berlin, did a little sightseeing, went to the University where Herbert studied Medicine, had reservation in a nice Hotel. In the afternoon we went to the „Jüdisches Museum“ where we spent the entire afternoon. A fascinating experience, German jewish history from its beginning to the destruction. In the evening I met a friend from Rochester who was in Berlin at the same time. The next day was devoted to the memory of my parents in law. First to the  jewish cemetery in Weißensee. We found their grave among 4000 Berlin Jews, who committed suicide in 1942 to avoid deportation. This was probably the most upsetting part of my trip. It broke my heart. Than off to Hufelandstraße where Herbert’s parents lived. We found No. 10, but the house has a new facade. The evening was spent with students of Hubert who now live in Berlin. The young man is doing a new exhibition in Wannsee and invited us to see the museum the next day. This ist where in 1942 the Nazis decided on the final solution. After we saw the museum we went back to Bochum to pack and get ready to fly home to Rochester the next day.

There are no words to describe my feelings. Gratitude to my friends, who made it possible, great satisfaction to have been able to pay my respects and show my love to my grandparents and to Herbert’s parents. Happiness and sadness to see my old friends, satisfaction, that I was able to close the circle and in doing so honor the memory of our beloved parents in the name of my two sisters and myself.

          (Rosemarie  Molser)

Foto: Alfred Salomon im Gespräch mit Rosemarie Molser
(großes Bild 131 KB)