A New Jersey Holocaust survivor has received an unsolicited apology from the granddaughter of Nazi sympathizers who lived in his Nuremberg home after his family was driven out of Germany at the start of the Holocaust.
In a letter dated May 17, Doris Schott-Neuse told Peter Hirschmann of Maplewood that she was “deeply ashamed” over what her fellow Germans “did to yourself, your family and to your friends and relatives and to the members of the Nuremberg Jewish community,” according to the New Jersey Jewish News.
Hirschmann, 92, grew up at 15 Eichendorffstrasse in Nuremberg — where in 1935 the Nazis adopted anti-Semitic laws stripping Jews of German citizenship — before being sent with his brother to safety in England as a 14-year-old. Eventually they were reunited with their parents and moved to Newark.
Schott-Neuse was able to locate Hirschmann after finding a 2009 New Jersey Jewish News article mentioning his visit to the house in the 1980s with his wife, Merle, and their then-teenage children.
“I am 45 years now and it is a shame that I never looked into the Nazi past of my family,” she wrote to Hirschmann. “I should have realized earlier that there is a Nazi past of course.”