With more than fifteen years experience in historical research and genealogy, we’re here to help you build your family history, decipher that illegible document, get you a German passport, or break through the brick wall.
Dr. Jutta Faehndrich
A chance encounter as a student got me into family research, a journey that has become both a passion and a profession. For more than fifteen years now I have been researching family histories, both my own and others. My experience as a cultural historian (MA, PhD) and avid genealogist makes for a unique expertise with an extremely broad spectrum. Whatever your family history needs, we’ve got you covered.
- Reclaiming citizenship
- Historical documents
- Old German handwriting
- Finding living relatives
- Archival visits in Germany
- Germany, Poland, Habsburg
- Leipzig Jewish History
- Jews in the Communist GDR
- Restitution (property & art)
- 19th & 20th centuries
- German, English, Hebrew
Success stories of our family history research
An unknown sister — Leipzig, 1920s-1930s
The client’s father was born in Leipzig and managed to emigrate to Palestine as a young man, but died when the client was an infant. We found his birth entry at the local registry and discovered that he had a sister, unbeknownst to our client. This younger sister sadly perished in Auschwitz. Our client was finally able to add her name to Yad Vashem’s pages of testimony, and she was not forgotten anymore. We also managed to find a photograph of our client’s father as a boyscout in a publication on Leipzig’s Jewish community.
An unknown mother — Berlin, 1920s
The client was born in 1923 and came to Palestine with father, mother and sister in the 1930s. Yet she always had a distant memory of another mother. After her parents passed, she discovered that there had indeed been another woman. Her real mother had died from the flu in 1925, and we managed to find her beautifully-preserved grave on the Berlin Weissensee cemetery. Its heartbreaking inscription made the client realize that her father was so overwhelmed by grief that he decided to lie, calling his second wife “mother”. This client was a sweet old lady and she developed the habit of calling regularly until she passed away a few years ago, blessed be her memory.
Child from the DP camp — US Occupation Zone, 1950s
The client was born in a so-called “DP camp”, a camp for survivors of the Nazi camps immediately after the war, in the US occupation zone of Germany. He came to Israel with his parents as a child. After the death of his father, and, later, his mother, he found a document that stated that his biological mother had given him up as a child and his mother was only his step-mother. We directed him to the archives of ITS Arolsen, where he could find more information on his real mother.
A trove of letters — Habsburg Poland, 1900s
The client had gotten hold of a trove of historical letters, written by his great-great-grandfather and his family. We managed to decipher and translate the letters and found out details about the family’s former property in Habsburg Poland.
Orphan boy — Berlin, 1930s-1940s
The client was born in 1938 and spent the war with foster parents in Berlin. In 1946 he came to Palestine with the Youth Aliah, as his mother was Jewish. We could shed light on the mystery of his childhood survival and found that his mother had escaped to England, where she later died of cancer. We also managed to find a cousin in Israel. When the two men met for the first time, the (initially skeptical) cousin exclaimed: “He looks just like the grandfather!”. Finally we managed to get a sizeable sum for property that his late mother’s family had owned in East Berlin, and got him a German passport.
German Citizenship — Berlin 1930s / New York 2020s
The client’s mother had left Berlin on a Kindertransport in the 1930s and grew up in New York. Her daughter, now retired herself, heard about a recent change in German citizenship law and finally wanted to get a German passport. We took care of the process and within this were able to unearth a great amount of details on the family history. The client got German citizenship within a year.
Cultural historian Dr. Jutta Faehndrich holds an MA in Cultural Studies from Leipzig university and a PhD in history from Erfurt university. Her doctoral thesis on the memory books of German expellees (Eine endliche Geschichte, Böhlau 2009) was awarded the Polish Ambassador’s 2010 Dissertation Prize.
Her latest book portrays the Dutch cartographer and landscape painter Charles William Meredith van de Velde (1818-1898), who traveled to Palestine in the 19th century, surveying and drawing the land: “Als Künstler und Kartograph im Heiligen Land (1851/52) – Die drei Palästina des C. W. M. van de Velde” (Reimer 2021).
As a student, she learned how to decipher old handwritings and prepare critical text editions. She was involved in editing Georg Simmel’s first dissertation on the origins of music (with K.C. Köhnke) and Ernst Cassirer’s late works on cultural anthropology (ECN VI, with G. Hartung and K.C. Köhnke).
When she found the first version of Cassirer’s “Essay on Man” in the archives of Yale University Press, she was made an honorary co-editor by her academic superiors.
Hunting down evidence and solving historical puzzles has been her favourite business ever since.
More about her scholarly work at Academia.edu.
Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Links & Cooperations
- Discovering Roots.pl — Poznan-based researchers & tour guides
- Fraenkelufer Berlin — Berlin Jewish Community and Synagogue
- IGRA — Israel Genealogy Research Association
- Gabriel Fawcett — Tour guide extraordinaire
- Stephan Heidenhain — Our Attorney & German citizenship expert