Before I begin, I would like to thank several people who not only helped make this story possible, but more interesting.
First of all, thanks to Cecile Beitel, my Grandmother, for writing the diary and keeping all of these souvenirs together. Her little bag of goodies from the journey intrigued me ever since I was a small child, exploring all the things in the trunk in the old storeroom.
I am grateful to two of my aunts, Sr Agnes Beitel and Aunt Betty Silbernagel, who both shared photos from the trip. Also, Sr Agnes was the one who many years ago transcribed Grandma's handwritten notes from the diary, typed them up and made a copy for each of her brothers and sister's families. Sr Agnes helped identify some of the people in the photographs. She wrote regularly to Hedi Ramolla in Canada and Bertram Schiebel in Germany, so she asked them for assistance, since both were actually in some of the photos and remembered Grandma's visit!
A huge thank you to my friend Al Haunold, without whom much of this story would remain a mystery. Al can read Old Script German, something not many can do anymore these days! With the exception of a few things that Sr Agnes had managed to translate previously, all of the translations were done by Al.
Thank you to my cousin Marilyn Pursley, who shared the original diary and passport with me. You can see the front cover of the actual diary at the bottom of this blog.
Last of all, I must thank my husband Jack, without whose encouragement and assistance with all things digital, none of this would be possible!! Thank you!
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