Some of the readers of this blog do not know my husband, Gary Zimmerman, so I will introduce him to you. A retired chemistry professor and university CEO, he spends his retirement running a genealogy library. In addition he has some personal clients and one of those decided not only to research his family, but to learn more about the story of the ancestor for whom he is named. He engaged others to assist him and Gary was one of those contributors.
The ancestor is Dr. Michael Berolzheimer who managed to leave Bavaria just days before the Nazis came to demand his passport. He had been fortunate enough to move some of his art to the United States, but much more of it was confiscated by the Nazis. Efforts have been underway to restore the art and there has been some success. The documentation of Dr. Michael’s life resulted in a book and that book was launched into the world at the Jewish Museum in Munich.
We were fortunate, along with family members, art restoration experts, authors, researchers, and others to be present for that event. It was an immense blessing and I hope to uncover the layers of meaning as I write more about this event. The participants were from all over the country and the world. The book launch was preceded and followed by time at Dr. Michael’s home in Bavaria (which is now a wonderful bed and breakfast owned by a German bank). The combination of accents and outlooks that were joined together in this endeavor was almost magical. It serves as an example of how connected we all are, how much we all have in common, and how easy it is to connect with people you barely know if you just sit at table with them.