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Ruth and Hermine Mayer

The Mayer family and Eric Silver honor Ruth and Hermine Mayer, who were born in Germany (Hamburg or Altona) in 1907 and 1914, respectively. Hamburg, on November 18, 1941, Ruth and Hermine, in addition to their mother, Caroline, and their sister Käthe, with her son Heinrich, were all put on a transport to Minsk, site of the infamous Minsk Ghetto (see "Caroline Mayer"). They were all eventually killed. Before her death, while Hermine was on the transport, she wrote a number of letters (with an occasional phrase of greeting from her mother or a sister) that include a telling narration of the transport experience.  These letters were subject to German Army censorship.In one letter, she writes, “Thus far 23 hours under way in wildly shaking, old Czechoslovakian railway carriages, without water supply, completely filthy, a small foretaste of what is to come. Being ten persons to a compartment…there is no thought of sleeping, this will be the third night.” Later in the same letter, she notes that the anti-Semitism in the train stations was worsening the farther east they traveled.



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