Who is Earnst Michaelis?
Michaelis was born in Berlin in 1926, and he still speaks with a slight German accent. He remembers that Peter owned an expensive pen, perhaps the one in his pocket in the photograph, possibly bought for him by his mother's new partner (it is believed his father had separated from his mother before the war and moved to the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. ). Michaelis also remembers the comfort he felt from being with his friend the day after Kristallnacht, the evening in November 1938 when Jewish homes, shops and synagoguesA list of synagogues around the world.
Michaelis and Schiff last saw each other in the summer of 1939. Michaelis came to England on the Kindertransport, going to school first in Sussex and then attending Bryanston SchoolBryanston School is an independent public school in Blandford, north Dorset, near the village of Bryanston. It was founded in 1928. It occupies a palatial country house designed in the late nineteenth century by Richard Norman Shaw for Viscount Portman. It is set in 400 acres (1.
..... Click the link for more information. in Dorset. Schiff, accompanied by his mother, went to Amsterdam. But before the boys parted they exchanged photographs. Michaelis's picture was taken by a friend of his mother at his home, while Schiff's may have been taken at a professional studio. 'We did not know how else to say goodbye to each other - 12-year-old boys do not promise each other to write letters. We were at my home, but to be together as long as possible I walked with him to his home, about 25 minutes' walk.' Schiff wrote a note using his full name: 'In friendly remembrance of your friend Lutz Peter Schiff' and Michaelis pasted both note and photograph (which was standard passport-size) into an album. A few years later the photograph was transferred to a larger book, where it sat undisturbedun·dis·turbed
Not disturbed; calm.
..... Click the link for more information. alongside other photos and correspondence for several decades. When he first read Anne Frank's diary in the Fifties, Michaelis had suspected that the Peter Schiff in the book was the same boy he had once known. He imagined that Schiff had perished in a concentration camp, but he couldn't confirm this either. In the last few years, however, things have come into focus.
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