Rudi Braatz

My gratifying experience with family research

* I was the first in my branch of the family who went back to Germany in 96 years, after the arrival of the family in Brazil.

* In Hamburg I contacted the family of Wilhelm and Erna Braatz listed in the phone book. There I found the copy of the letter sent by the Captain Braatz written in Waterloo. I was invited to live with this family as I studied in Hamburg, in 1964.

* In 65 I went to East Germany, during the cold war, and made contact, in Neu Brandenburg, with the family Berg, with a letter dated 1936, the last contact between the Brazilian family and the relatives who stayed in Germany. Without previous advise I knocked at the door of the address from 36, one of the very few houses not destroyed in the war, and there I found an 85 years old Berg, author of the last letters. In a closed Eastern Germany my visit was an intense emotion for all of us and I was shown off as an exotic parrot coming from the tropics.

* In 70, as I studied in the USA, I made contact with Werner E. Braatz, whose name I found in a book directory and wrote to his editor. In about ten days I had an answer with the following coincidence: He sent me a newspaper clipping of a Braatz who died in Hamburg at age 105. Five years earlier, as she completed 100 years, it was notified in a newspaper in Hamburg, and I visited her. He also wrote me about a "Moebelfirma" in Stettin, a landmark in that city which had been demolished. Werner Braatz visited me in Porto Alegre, coming by ship from the USA up to the river port of Porto Alegre.

* The interest in carpentry, present in my grandfather and father, were also informed to me by Ingrid Braatz Leland, whose grandfather Ferdinand, a "Zimmermann" by trade, who built windmills. This Ferdinand lived in Blumenau, Brazil, married three times. The third with a native indian 37 years younger, who had been adopted by a German family. They took her to Germany. Ingrid's family ancestors went first to Chile and then to California.

* Since the beggining of October, when I decided to use de Net to reach the family, I got more answers then in the previous 34 years. Peter Albert, from New York, wrote that he visited an estate in East Prussia which for 800 years belonged to the family. Another informed about contacts with a Braatz family in Australia. The son of Ervin Braatz sent a message to say that his father did extensive genealogic research. Now I am confident that we will be able to write a book upon the contents of a Home Page.