Weißensee Cemetery

She was buried at Weißensee by the still functioning Berlin Jewish community, which also took charge of any assets she had remaining. We don’t know if her name and dates were added to the headstone at that time or, according to Jewish custom, a year later. We also don’t know what her daughter Elly or even our mother Helga knew for sure about Betty’s end. 

Growing up, we three children had the general sense that Betty was a concentration camp victim. We have no information that she was ever in contact with Elly again after sending the money to Nice, even though Elly and Helga finally reached America about nine months before Betty’s death. 

Elly returned to Germany many times from the 1950s through the 1970s, though more ofter to enjoy Alpine resorts than to return to the city of her married years. I don’t know for sure that she ever went back to Berlin, but if she did and wanted to visit her husband’s and parents’ graves, she would have needed special permission to cross into the Eastern Zone in order to visit Weißensee. 

My mother, who always resisted going back to Germany, finally did in the 1980s. That was still a few years before the fall of the wall, and I believe she probably did not go to the cemetery, so it is possible that she and my grandmother never knew that Betty was thankfully buried alongside her husband.

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