Walli Hirschfeld was born in Graudenz, Poland in 1921. Later the family will move to Leipzig, Germany. She then moved to the Ahrensdorf Hachshara camp in Berlin, where she met Rolli. He describes the moment of her arrival at the camp as:
“our hearts fell like stone.”
They married, according to his announcement of November 21, 1941, in January 1942.
The background to that wedding is unclear. In some of the letters in the year before, Rolli signs as “us.” He and Walli. He signs her name and tells about it.
According to the theory of Urs Feas it seems that the wedding was the last minute wedding in the hope of getting permission to immigrate to Palestina. His claims were that it was a reckless wedding for the immigration documents. Personally, after reading all the letters, I doubt it was so. Otherwise Rolli would not have written in many other letters, “we” with her name signed.
There is little confusion in Yad Vashem’s databases:
The information from the Berlin database says Wally was born in 1921.
On the witness page filled by her sister who lived in Israel, it was said that she was born in 1922, but all the other details are the same, and this is probably our Walli.
What is amazing is that on the first information sheet it is known that she married, and her last name after the marriage was Baruch, but on the witness page that her sister filled, it is just written that she was married, without any other details.
Her sister seemed to know less about her last years. When I discovered the gaps in the archive, I tried to locate her sister, Deborah, but to no success. She seemed to be dead. Yad Vashem refused to help me locate her family, and unfortunately they do not know if she had children. I do not even know if it interests them.
We have no information about Walli’s death. The records of Yad Vashem regarding it end with the definition:
Status while preparing the list: absent.
Apparently, she died in Auschwitz, like Rilli. In the same letter that Rolli describes the moment Walli arrived at the camp, he says that he promised Walli’s father to keep her safe. We can only hope that he filled out the request until the moment when he could no longer keep any of them.
With the help of Magen David Adom (which is responsible for locating missing persons) and the lawyer Ariela Pat, we located the family. Walli’s sisters had already died. I corresponded with Zvi Kaveh, Tamar’s (her daughter) husband, . The pictures were sent with the help of Tamar’s sister, Yehudit Gilboa. Zvi sent me Walli’s pictures, and after two years of working on the story, I was so glad to see her pictures at last:
Photos by Polyfoto, Leipzig C 1, Hainstr. 23rd. With the great help, and own by Zvi Kave.
Another surprise is that Walli’s parents survived. Like her sisters. They survived the camps, immigrated to Israel, and settled near the Sea of Galilee.
At a short point in history, Walli, and her family were part of our family.