At a New York Fleamarket, a 75-year-old German letter is found by a woman.


Chelsey loves thrift shopping. She loves to hunt for hidden treasures with historical significance and return them back to her family.

Recently, she discovered and returned a long-lost precious heirloom:  a 75-year-old letter sent from Berlin, Germany, during the Holocaust.

A woman named Ilse Loewenberg sent the letter on July 18, 1945. She fought for her survival. Ilse leapt from a moving train heading to Auschwitz, and fled to Berlin for nine more months. She was captured and taken to prison.

Except for Carla, her sister, all of her family members died. Ilse sent the letter to Carla.

She said that it was in it. “Through the kindness of our liberators, I am able to give you a sign of life from me after so many years…No one is alive anymore. My pain is unspeakably big. My husband, whom I married 3.5 years ago, was also taken from me! … When there will be a regular mail connection, I will tell you everything in detail.” 

Chelsey discovered the letter and used MyHeritage for Carla’s family search. She returned the letter to Jill, a relative.

Turns out, the sisters moved to New York together after the war. They remained close for many years.

Jill was very grateful to Chelsey for the letter she had received from her. 

“My whole family is truly in awe of all you have done for us,”She said. “Almost everyone’s first reaction of ‘Is this a scam?’ quickly transformed into bewilderment at your selfless dedication to reuniting heirlooms with families.”

“We all loved our Great-Aunt Ilse and are thrilled beyond words to read her thoughts in her own handwriting after she emerged from the depths of the European inferno. May God bless your noble work, and may you receive many blessings in return for all you do for families like mine.”

Ilse was killed on September 11, 2001. Although her death was not related to the terrorist attacks, close friends believe that it was because she was unable to handle more tragedy.

The letter that she left behind is her legacy. It is still in the hands of her family.