Family Archive Mueller/Reichelt/Joachimsthal (Berlin)

The pile of papers, which was acquired on a Berlin flea market in March 2015, contains various kinds of documents such as letters, passports, photos, certificates, vouchers etc. They illustrate an entire century of German history, from a marriage certificate from 1879 to a handwritten letter of condolescence from the member of parliament Liselotte Funcke from 1971. The names Flora Mueller, Walter Reichelt and Antonie Joachimstal appear again and again in the papers. However, it is not clear, if they are from the possession of one family or of more than one.

A selection of nineteen documents is shown here.

The letter written by the retired district court councillor Konrad Fuechsel to Antonie Joachimsthal in 1949 illustrates the desire to save personal keepsakes in times of diplacement and hardship (image 15):

Konrad Füchsel
retired district court councillor
Hannover, 1949 June 22nd

Mrs. Joachimsthal
Berlin West 15, Xantenerstrasse 22.

Dear Madam,
the bar association in Berlin has informed us that you are expected to be irrevocably admitted to our former apartment.
I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to you to continue to keep our few things safe, which are still in the apartment, especially my collection of photographs, which is – as I have been told by my wife – on top of the suspended ceiling in the maid’s chamber. A time will come some day – hopefully -, when we will be able to pick up these last things.
You remember that in November 1947 my wife packed our furniture in haste with your affectionate and kind assistance and had it taken to the railway. Unfortunately it has not been possible to get it here. It was confiscated by the Russians during transport, unloaded in Stendal and partially ransacked and burnt there. Everything seemed fine at the beginning. The company in charge of the transport had compiled a train with 35 wagons of furniture to be taken into the western zones. The train was confiscated and again released by the Russians for a first time on grounds of an accusation by Germans, saying that it was a displaced factory. The train started westwards for a second time, but meanwhile the west-east relations had worsened and the Russians didn’t let the furniture pass. They asked companies in Stendal if they would place the furniture into stock. Because no company agreed, the furniture was unloaded, then ransacked and burnt by Russians and Germans.
This was not a cheap, but even a costly way of losing our possessions, because we had paid for the transport in advance, and now we have to acquire our household anew step by step. The recollection of our furniture is all, what we have at the moment.
Also the photographic collection is mainly of commemorative value, and I would be especially grateful, if you keep it for me.
With exquisit regard, yours Füchsel.