Tags: peter hirschmann | lost | home | nazis | apology | letter

Peter Hirschmann Lost Home to Nazis, Gets Apology 78 Years Later

Peter Hirschmann Lost Home to Nazis, Gets Apology 78 Years Later

In a photograph taken Friday, June 16, 2017, Peter Hirschmann looks at a letter in his home in Maplewood, N.J. Doris Schott-Neuse, a German woman whose grandfather had acquired Hirschmann’s family home through the Nazis, sent Hirschmann the letter that arrived out of the blue from Nuremberg expressing her shame and imploring him for forgiveness. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

By    |   Wednesday, 25 October 2017 04:39 PM

Peter Hirschmann lost his home to the Nazis in 1939. Now 92 and living in New Jersey, Hirschmann was touched to receive an apology letter from a German woman attached to the seizure.

Hirschmann got the letter from Doris Schott-Neuse, whose grandfather took over the home after Hirschmann’s family fled Germany to escape Nazi oppression, NBC4 reported. Schott-Neuse discovered the original ownership while investigating a friend’s situation and felt compelled to send the letter.

“I am deeply ashamed for what us Germans did to yourself, your family and to your friends and relatives and to the members of the Nuremberg Jewish community,” she wrote, NBC4 reported. “It is hardly bearable to start thinking about the details — what a horror and nightmare it must have been to live through this.” 

Schott-Neuse had always been told that her grandparents bought the home from a Jewish family and that they had helped the family escape to the U.S., the Daily Mail reported.

Hirschmann said he started to cry as he read the letter, thinking about memories of his childhood home in Nuremberg, NBC4 reported. He left when he was 19, and later joined the U.S. Army to fight the Nazis in World War II.

The home was large by 1939 standards and had fruit and vegetable gardens that Hirschmann helped tend during his childhood. He remembers his parents running a sprinkler for him and the other Jewish children in the neighborhood after the Nazis wouldn’t allow them to use the public pools anymore, he told NBC4.

Hirschmann accepted Schott-Neuse’s apology and has been corresponding with her by email, thought the two have not met in person, the Daily Mail reported. 

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Peter Hirschmann lost his home to the Nazis in 1939. Now 92 and living in New Jersey, Hirschmann was touched to receive an apology letter from a German woman attached to the seizure.
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Wednesday, 25 October 2017 04:39 PM
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