The Story of R.K. (Israel, the United States, Canada and Germany)
R.K. was born in a kibbutz in the Jordan Valley about a year before the establishment of the State of Israel. She never knew her father, who was killed in battle defending the Jordan Valley. Therefore, she heard and knew very little about him, perhaps because her mother remarried.
In the initial interview she said that he was born in Leipzig, Germany. She also knew the names and dates of her grandparents. She also knew the details that were written on an Israel Defense Forces memorial. She had a picture of her father that was taken close to the date of his death. Every year she would visit his grave in the cemetery in Kibbutz Degania. She also said that before his immigration to the Land of Israel he had undergone training to prepare himself for immigration at a kibbutz in Europe, thus saving him from the Nazis.
The research to uncover additional details about H.K. included dozens of sources of data, contacts with investigators in Germany, and collection of testimony from his school friends in Leipzig. These school friends were unknown to us prior to the start of the research. They related that H.K. was a diligent student, cheerful and sociable. He and three friends used school holidays to tour throughout Germany. These friends, one from Jerusalem, one from Canada, and one from the United States, supplied us with rare photographs of H.K. from his teenage years that were unknown to his daughter, R.K.
From research through documents we came to know that H.K. had had a younger sister who had fled, together with her parents, to France, but the Nazis got to them there as well, and sent them back to Germany and to their deaths.
Other results of the research:
In the future R.K. will be able to sue to recover family property that was stolen during the Holocaust, of which she is the sole heir.
R.K. can now build an updated picture of her father's and her father's family's situation and, perhaps, build a family tree.