Sophie Ratz with her children Martin and Hedwig Charlotte

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  • Photo taken in:
    krakow
    Year when photo was taken:
    1928
    Country name at time of photo:
    Poland
    Country name today:
    Poland

This is a picture of my mother-in-law Sophie Ratz and her children, my husband Martin Ratz, and his sister, Hedwig Charlotte Reissler, nee Ratz. The photo was taken in Cracow in 1928.

Martin was born on 14th April 1921 in Vienna. He had a sister called Hedwig Charlotte, born in Vienna in 1924. His father's name was Alexander and his mother was called Sophie. They came to Vienna from Brody, Galicia, but I don't remember when. I assume his father was a businessman. He worked in a company in Vienna that sold pencils and the like Two years later the family moved to Cracow. I suppose my husband's father had relatives and better job opportunities there. Unfortunately he died of a heart attack in 1931 or 32.

Sophie stayed in Cracow and devoted herself to the children. I don't know how they made a living, perhaps they had some income from some property or perhaps their relatives supported them. When my husband was in grammar school, his mother decided to send him to her sister in Vienna, probably because - but this is only my supposition - he had the chance of getting better final exams there than in Cracow. Martin moved to his aunt's in Vienna - she lived on Rechte Wienzeile - in 1937. In 1938, a year before his final exams, he was expelled from Austria for being a Polish Jew.

Hedy, as my husband's sister was called, lived with her future husband, Heinrich Reissler, a Holocaust survivor, who came from a very Orthodox family. They shared a two-bedroom apartment with friends who had also survived. Hedy and Heinrich immigrated to Palestine in 1946. We would have liked to put up Hedy because she was a typical war child, hadn't been able to finish school and we believed that she still needed support in many respects. She grew up in Cracow, but she was only a child when she lived there and couldn't really enjoy her teenage years. She never experienced this kind of world that was so important for my personal development. She is a typical example of how the war ruined the life of Jewish children.

Interview details

Interviewee: Emilia Ratz
Interviewer:
Tanja Eckstein
Month of interview:
June
Year of interview:
2004
Vienna, Austria

KEY PERSON

Sofie Ratz
City of birth:
Brody
Country name at time of birth:
Austria
Year of death:
1941
City of death:
Plaszow
Country of death:
Poland
Died where:
Plaszow
Occupation
before WW II:
Housewife

Other Person

Hedwig Charlotte Reissler
Year of birth:
1924
City of birth:
Vienna
Country name at time of birth:
Austria
Year of death:
2000
City of death:
Haifa
Country of death:
Israel
Died:
after WW II
  • Previous family name: 
    Ratz
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage
    Decade of changing: 
    1940

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