Sunday, January 17, 2010

Löwy Brothers Drafted in World War I

I started to translate a letter that was showcased in the photocopies of the library book about the Jews of Cheb, somehow I have misplaced it and all of my searching has been for not.  So I started to explore other pages...I guess there was a reason that I lost it.  I was forced to dissect other pages. Searching for the words Eduard Löwy or Paul Löwy in pages written in a language I don't understand,  I was surprised that I saw Fritz.  Fritz was my grandfather's nickname, Fred is what he called himself in the United States.  His legal Cz.-Bohemian name was Friedrich.  As I think of it, Fritz is a name that would have served him better than Fred.

In excerpts from his sister Trudi's diary, the writer says that this is, "This is a very immediate description of the everyday life of a teenage girl from a good Jewish family." Fritz and his brother Paul were "conscripted" into the war, World War I. My grandfather seems to have had a rough time.  I will have to work on cleaning up some typing to get a better translation, but the Google translator is a great tool.


In the beginning of the narrative, " Fritz was the disease typhoid poor Mel! Thank God he had done better. Hopefully he's back. And be completely healthy, he gets 4-6 weeks vacation." Paul was sent home temporarily with a leg wound. Toward the end of the excerpt, "Our poor Fritz went on to the last moment malaria. Writes to us from the hospital in Marburku. My father had got him a place in Cheb military hospital .. I hope this is not bad." 

From the history books I have been reading and this journey I have been on, I am even more confused than when I started.  I don't know of any other religious or ethnic group in history that has been hunted relentlessly throughout history and forced to scatter to all the corners of the earth as the Hebrew people have.  And still, to this day, identifying oneself as such can be very dangerous.  They are a resilient, adaptable people.  They have strong laws. They value education.  This has allowed them to survive and carve niches for themselves, and as they adapt and survive, a naive jealousy from others around them festers and the outcome is always the same.