English by Susanne Eisen
Walter and Jeanne Reed from The U S A visit us
In June 2002 Mr. and Mrs. Reed from Chicago came to visit our school.
Mr. Reed had already contacted us last year after he had discovered the story about his family in our web site.
He was able to give us more information about the fate of the Rosenau and Eisen family and especially the Rindsberg familiy of Hensoltstrasse 7.
These three Jewish families had taken him under their wings after they succeded in getting him out of a French refugee camp for children and bringing him to the USA. In our class room Mr. Reed told us the moving story of his life.
Walter Reed’s Fateful Life
He grew up in Mainstockheim in Lower Frankonia with two siblings. When he was 15, in order to keep him safe, his family sent him with other children to Belgium in a “Kindertransport” (transportation of children on trains). At that time his name was still Werner Rindsberg. There he and the other children were placed in a “Kinderheim”, a home for children. When the German Army entered Belgium the children were moved again, this time into a refuge camp in rural Southern France, for their safety. There they lived under very primitive conditions.
Fortunately the relatives who had emigrated to the USA made efforts to bring him to their home.
He was able to live with the siblings of his uncle Adolf Rindsberg from Uehlfeld, who by way of his marriage arrived in Gunzenhausen, and who then emigrated to the USA with his wife Ilse. In 1943 he joined the American Army and took part in the Allied invasion of France and Germany in 1944/45.
Unfortunately Walter Reed searched for his parents and siblings in vain. They had been deported and lost their lives in the killing camps.
It was then, after his terrible losses and his own personal experiences, that he decided to change his name from Werner Rindsberg to Walter Reed, and to turn his back on the Jewish religion. He did not ever want to be subjected to discrimination again.
He has been Walter Werner Reed ever since.
It is remarkable that he frequently visits Germany and has good personal relationships with Germans.
It means a great deal to him to contribute to the reconciliation. He intends to provide funds for the planned local history museum on the site of the ruin of the Synagogue in Uehlfeld, the home of his ancestors.
As a “Global Player” he travels all over the world and includes the Germans in his quest for humanity to better understand each other and cooperate with one another.
We were very impressed by this man and his American wife Jeanne who showed us that each and all of us are members of humankind.
In Spring of 2003 we received a very interesting letter from Mr. Reed. In it he told us about his visit to Betty Rosenbaum (born Eisen) of Burgstallstrasse 4, who now lives in a retirement home in Florida.
“Today I just want to let you know that my wife and I went to visit Mrs. Betty Rosenbaum while we were in Florida in February. She was very happy to see us, of course.
She is still very spry for her age.”
In this letter he included a photo of Mrs. Rosenbaum’s grandparents Heyman and Jetta Eisen, born Schoen. It was entered into the story of the Eisen family.