Briefe von Onkel Max. Schreiben aus dem Exil nach Leipzig, zwischen Shanghai und der SBZ, Israel und der DDR 1945-1969

The article focuses on the letters of the physician Max Prochownik to his Leipzig-based niece Alice Seiffert. Prochownik left Leipzig in the late 1930s in view of the anti-Semitic policy of the “Third Reich” emigrating first to Shanghai and then to Israel, where he remained from 1950 on. His niece was deported to Theresienstadt. She survived the Ghetto and returned to her hometown. In 1946 they began an intensive correspondence. Unfortunately the letters of Alice Seiffert are not available to research. The writings of Max Prochownik, however, provide not only impressions of everyday life in Shanghai as well as in the new-founded state Israel, but also illustrate his decision process between exile and remigration as well as the different handling of “Wiedergutmachung” in the two German states. Furthermore the letters reveal the possibilities but also the restrictions of international communication between two related Holocaust survivors living in two antagonized states during the Cold War – the GDR and Israel.