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Finding family in Dresden

(37 Posts)
marialina Wed 26-Jun-19 09:48:04

Hi,
Im looking for anyine that maybe related or knew a Kurt Fritz Mai, born Dresden 1924 Fritz Mai or a Lina Berger parents.
Kurt was a P.O.W in Italy 1946/47

Prokupatuscrakedatus Wed 26-Jun-19 13:45:23

@marialina
What sources did you try?

marialina Wed 26-Jun-19 15:21:50

Hi,
I've had a geneologist looking that can't find much just thats. Kurt is now dead, because of data protecction it's a brick wall.
Ive looked on Ancestry...family research.org the Mormon site, nothing.
Most info is from Red Cross Switzerland.

Prokupatuscrakedatus Wed 26-Jun-19 17:40:20

I see, and as the place was demolished there might not be a lot of past records anyway.
I take it you are looking for living relatives. When a professional genealogist can't find his descendants or siblings (there might not be any?!), there is very little you can do.
When he was released from POW - where was he released to? Are you sure he went back to Dresden? Did your genealogist check the 'Entnazifizierungsakten' and army records?

marialina Wed 26-Jun-19 18:13:19

Because I cant prove I'm a relative thy wont give any info.because of this Data Protection. They have records but wont tell me, registry office, army records etc unfortunately no proof no info, thats why I'm posting everywhere asking if there's anyone out there that may know something.

marialina Wed 26-Jun-19 18:20:57

Kurt was repatriated to Dresden in 1947 but of course they were then occupied by the Russians. Stasi records are denied to me too as Ive no proof, on paper anyway, other than a photo of his parents.
Never heard if Entnazif............

orangeshoebox Wed 26-Jun-19 18:49:37

entnazifizierung was the discharge from the wehrmacht.
many many records were lost in eastern germany.

do you know his confession? maybe the church holds baptism records?
have you tried www.dastelefonbuch.de/

both mai and berger are quite common names which makes it difficult.

you could also try www.dresdner-geschichtsverein.de/startseite.html

Prokupatuscrakedatus Wed 26-Jun-19 18:57:35

"Entnazifizierungsakten": very simply put everybody over 16 was checked over by the allied authorities with regards to their involvement / participation etc. There is extensive documentation. I did this for a relative who was not a direct ancestor. If there is such a file there might be information to be found. But a professional genealogist will have thought of this, too.
It is difficult to think of something a proffessional might not have done.
What kind of relative is he to you (if I may ask)?

Prokupatuscrakedatus Wed 26-Jun-19 19:05:31

If you know which part of Dresden he came from, you could try to publish the fotos in the local paper (via the Geschichtsverein?) and see if sb remembers him.

marialina Wed 26-Jun-19 19:21:22

Actually he's my father, i just found out begining of the year. I was adopted by my Welsh 'father' at the age of 3yo. I always thought I was half Italian half Welsh but I am half Italian half German.shock
My mother was with Kurt for a year then he was sent home but they still corresponded. Unfortunately apparently the letters were lost years ago.
My 'Grandparents' sent a photo a month after I was born, for me of themselves a picture ive always had but didnt know who they were until now..Thanks....i will try the links youve given me. Any port in a storm.

Prokupatuscrakedatus Wed 26-Jun-19 19:28:02

This is a case those DNA tests by ancestry etc might come in useful?

marialina Wed 26-Jun-19 19:40:11

I think the Ancestry DNA just lets you know which area your ancestors came from unless theres a different one.

Lisette1940 Wed 26-Jun-19 19:53:12

marialina your posts are very touching. I hope you find what you need to know.

Just yesterday I found a newspaper record from 1908 about my great-grandaunt who was drowned at Holyhead aged 9. Her name was Lizzie. Her 5 year old brother was pulled from the water alive. God bless her.

Obviously your search is much closer to you. I hope it proves fruitful.

marialina Wed 26-Jun-19 21:03:59

Thank you Lisette.
How sad for Lizzie..but how wonderful we can now search and find family we knew nothing about then they will never disapear.
My 'adopted' Grandfather had a half brother that died P.o.W in Germany WW1.
We knew nothing about him, I found about him and had his name put on our local Cenotaph. Just so difficult to find out about the person/people I want to find now because of these new privacy rules and in a different country that I dont speak the language.

Lisette1940 Thu 27-Jun-19 00:44:11

Because Lizzie died in Holyhead, the family moved back to Ireland due to the trauma. I hadn't expected to find the report but there it was. I don't think her body was ever found.

Marialina did the genealogist mention the data protection problem to you?

What about the German Red Cross?https://familylinks.icrc.org/en/Pages/Countries/germany.aspx

'We help you to look for family members in Germany
​The German Red Cross helps people look for family members in Germany.
We try to help you when you have lost contact due to:

armed conflict or other situations of violence;
natural or man-made disasters;
migration involving a vulnerable person;
World War II;'

Lisette1940 Thu 27-Jun-19 00:55:29

Sorry Marialina - just spotted your reference to the Red Cross in Switzerland. How on earth are you meant to prove a link if you're searching for someone - I mean it was war time and relationships were sometimes fleeting.

Lisette1940 Thu 27-Jun-19 01:29:22

Sorry about the endless posts Marialina. If it's the European GDPR legislation that's blocking your access then one genealogy website noted this:

'While many of the records on our websites are about dead people, some Record Subjects are living people, and thus regulated by GDPR. Very occasionally, a record focussed on a dead person will contain information about living persons - for example, a burial record can state someone is the widow, or widower, of a named living person.'

You mentioned that your father is now deceased.

I'll ask my husband to ask a work colleague who works on German history in the German archives about this legislation and access to WWII era records. Might be a while before I can get back to you.

Prokupatuscrakedatus Thu 27-Jun-19 08:05:22

@Lisette1940
It's not the GDPR it's our archival data protection laws:
When I last needed them - it was a 30 year restriction on deaths, 110 years on births and I think 80 on marriages (it might have been made easier in the mean time).
OP has employed a professional genealogist - and it is difficult to think of something they would not have tried (or should have tried).

- he'd be 95 - so siblings and their families might still be alive (protected information) - very local newspaper + fotos might get results.
- There are DNA databanks that match you to relatives if they have done the same (ask the member romanyqueen)
- an acquaintance wrote to everybody in the phonebook within the correct area with the correct name (time consuming and therefore expesive for a genealogist)
- obituaries usually named parents, siblings, their spouses and children (the only way I could find my DGF' sisters married name - protected information)
- it's a pity the letters have been lost - they'd have been a legal base for gaining access to information

Lisette1940 Thu 27-Jun-19 08:45:55

Prokupatuscrakedatus thank you for your information about German data laws. I didn't know of this. And yes, I realise that a professional genealogist probably has all bases covered. I'm a historian but not of the 20th century and not of Germany!

I agree with all your points.

I will follow up with that colleague anyway because I'd like to know more about the archive restrictions he encounters and on the off chance that there is anything useful to pass to Marialina I can pass it on.

Lisette1940 Thu 27-Jun-19 08:51:27

Actually I found Lizzie through online newspaper resources because I hadn't time to chase birth and death certificates, which I'd almost certainly find.

marialina Thu 27-Jun-19 09:09:19

Wow....thank you all....my head is spinning.
I filled in forms for Army records, still eaiting 6 months....registry office, Stasi records...all say they need proof othrrwise its a no go. Ive quoted 'rights to information' and had a snotty letter reiterating 'no proof, no info' from the Registry office.
Lars enquired but to no effect, just informed hes now deceased but no more info.
I got the phone numbers of the persons now at Handalellee, rang 1 enquired if she spoke English, she said no and put the phone down.
Ive written to every Kurt Mai in Dresden 14 letters....nothing.
I will certainly go through your messages carefully and have a go ....thanks so much for all your help.
Im 71yo mums 92yo it would be nice if i found out something. 🙅

Prokupatuscrakedatus Thu 27-Jun-19 09:24:37

Regrettably the forum I used for all sorts of genealogical help is undergoing reconstruction. They were a gold mine of minute regional research - they even advised about how contact letters to strangers would best be formulated and there was always one who could help out with foreign languages.

Could you write up a list of all things you and your genealogist tried and all the facts and hints you have?
Perhaps there is a method you have not tried yet (yes - I am procrastinating, I ought to look for the parents of Joanis Murenwald married 22.06.1751)

Lisette1940 Thu 27-Jun-19 09:24:39

I know Kurt's letters to your Mum are lost but perhaps her letters to him are somewhere in Germany, kept by Kurt's relatives.

I presume an oral testimony, witnessed in a legal setting, from your Mum wouldn't be enough?

It would be lovely if you both got some news all these years on.

Prokupatuscrakedatus has so many good ideas in her post.

marialina Thu 27-Jun-19 11:52:05

Hi.
Its having a chance to find out if there's family ......maybe they have got letter s....who knows!!
If I'd been told a couple of years ago about him there would be no problem, Data Protection only came in the other year.
Mum oromised 'my dad' not to tell me but he's been dead 16yrs and its funny ive always had a feeling something wasnt really right growing up...but...heyho...

Lisette1940 Thu 27-Jun-19 12:19:05

What year did Kurt die?

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