What Happened to Them?


What happened to the people written about in the book?

Paul Kleinstrass: Now Paul Kester. Living in Los Angeles. He and Susanne live in the same house they moved into in 1961.

Susi Luft: Now Susanne Kester. She and Paul have been married for 64 years.

Albert and Johanna Kleinstrass. Paul’s parents. They were deported to the Ghetto of Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia on September 1, 1942. On January 23, 1943 they were deported from Theresienstadt to Auschwitz where they were most likely murdered immediately upon arrival.

Emilie Baum. Paul’s grandmother, “Oma.”  Deported with Johanna (her daughter) and Albert Kleinstrass to Theresienstadt on September 1, 1942. She died there on May 12, 1944. We suspect that she may have taken her own life, as she was scheduled to be deported to Auschwitz the following day.

Helen Kleinstrass, later Helen Henlein. Paul’s sister. Lived close to Paul in Los Angeles until her death in 1999.

Leo Kahn. Paul’s best friend in Wiesbaden. Sent to Amsterdam after Kristalnacht. After the Germans occupied Holland he was deported to Auschwitz where he was murdered, as were his sister and parents.

Dr. Josef Kleinstrass. Paul’s uncle, brother of Albert Kleinstrass. Sent to the Ghetto in the town of Zamosc in eastern Poland. Most of the Jews who arrived in his transport were sent to the death camp of Belzec a couple of months later.

Minna Rosenbaum. Sister of Albert Kleinstrass. Deported with her brother Josef, above, to Zamosc. Probably also murdered at Belzec.

Rieke Rothenberg. Sister of Albert Kleinstrass. Murdered at Auschwitz.

Frieda Kleinstrass. Youngest sister of Albert Kleinstrass. Deported to Warsaw, Poland; probably died there or was murdered at Treblinka.

Hugo Kleinstrass. Paul’s uncle. The only one of his siblings to survive. Because he was married to a Catholic woman, Änne, he was not deported until February, 1945. He was sent to Theresienstadt from where he was freed, and he then returned to Bredenborn, where he died in 1957. His children remained close to Paul and Susanne, as do his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Georg (George) Herzfeld. Paul’s friend at Västraby and Osby, and his roommate in Stockholm. He also moved to Los Angeles, living two blocks from Paul and Susanne. He and Paul remained best friends throughout their lives. George died in 2012.