Walter's Welcome: The Intimate Story of a German-Jewish Family's Flight from the Nazis to Peru
Skyhorse Publishing Inc., Jan 2, 2018 - 264 pages
Walter’s Welcome is the story of Walter Neisser and the more than fifty members of his family he helped to escape Nazi Germany. The story is told through the letters of the Neisser family, which have been meticulously translated and arranged by Walter’s niece, Eva, who also provides moving historical contextualization and commentary. After fleeing Germany, the Neissers resettled in Peru. However, their flight was neither easy nor seamless. Walter worked tirelessly to provide the resources and guidance necessary for the many members of the family to escape, but communications to Europe were frazzled and travel off the continent became increasingly impossible with each passing day, requiring extraordinary will and coordination to contact the correct officials and receive the necessary documentation. The family’s letters reveal the toll these efforts put on them and the challenges of waiting and surviving in a foreign land as they tried to hold together.
The story of Jewish escapees to Latin America has only recently begun to be widely explored. This memoir-in-letters explores the difficulties of daily life in this little explored context, as the Neisser family and many other escaped Jews adjusted to a new home and tried to build a new life in the shadow of the many horrific things happening back in the land they’d left behind.
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America Angela Angress Antofagasta Arequipa Argentina arrived in Lima arrived in Peru aunt Auschwitz Berlin Beuthen birthday Bolivia brother Buenos Aires Callao camp Chile cousin daughter Helen dear Erna dear Fanny dear mother dear Rudy Deggendorf Erich Erna Lustig Erna’s Europe family members Fanny Lustig father Ferrostaal Friedrich Freund Friedrich Lustig friends Fritz Gerda Gleiwitz Gliwice Guenter Nothmann hope husband immigrants Kaethe Klaere Kleine Erna Kurt letter Liebermann Lima Lina live Miraflores Mollendo months Nazi Neisser family nice Nothmann Óscar Benavides parents Peruvian picture received refugees Regina Rudy Lustig Ruth saltpeter Schymiczek sent siblings sister Erna sister-in-law Spanish stay Sütterlin thank Thea Theo Buchwald Theresienstadt Tito trip Upper Silesia visa Walter and Erna Walter Neisser Walter’s mother warm greetings wedding wife write wrote York