From Maria (Maruschia ) Mackey, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:

Were you or any of your friends or family in DP camps or somewhere in Germany from 1948-1951;I am trying to find someone who recognizes any of the events, places, etc. which I have described below:

This would help me to verify/correct my surname; identify my parentage; locate the burial site of my mother and one brother (half-brother?); and find another missing brother (half-brother?). Any clue would be a blessing.

I was brought to the USA and raised by a Gentile cousin. Below are a few details this cousin, who brought me to America, did provide. Another cousin would only give me details that were encrypted in German, Ukrainian, Russian or French. Both of these cousins are now deceased.

Here is what I have been able to collect over the years:

My mother was a Russian Jew from Galicia (Lvov; Kamenybrod; Kiev). My father was from Hanau (pre- or post WWII?); they survived labor camps in Silesia.

My mother committed suicide (by hanging) after my little brother was run over and killed in or around a DP camp in Germany (most likely Hanau) and around the same time I survived a gas stove explosion. My mother had suffered from depression. It’s possible that she had remarried because another cousin said I had 2 half-brothers. I don’t know where she or my one brother are buried in Germany. Another brother is missing somewhere. His first name was Peter/Piotyr.

I was born in Koblenz in 1948 in the spring. The street where my house was located was behind or near a brewery. The street may have had the word “black” (Schwartz?) in it. My memories of Jewish life are few but precious and sustained me while living among the Gentile cousins.

My surname meant “mirror” in German”: Spiegel (or some variation thereof). There were Schornsteins (or a surname which means “chimney” in German) in my family.

Schweinfurt UNRRA/IRO Home for the Aged: Due to horrible circumstances at this home, I was in front of a gas stove which blew up and was thrown up to the ceiling. I sustained bone injuries to the top of my head, neck and spine. Burn injuries thankfully were minimal. My mother had brought me to visit someone at that home. Her Gentile cousin who later brought me to America worked in the kitchen of this home as a dietary aide.

I was transported to the hospital at Wildflecken US Army Base where I recuperated for 2 months. This same cousin said someone had been falsely accused for the gas stove explosion and maybe even the death of another child.

She admitted that she had removed me without permission from the military hospital and brought me to America using the identity of her own child who had died previously. She used to visit me at the hospital regularly and the staff were apparently accustomed to her presence. I was forcibly baptized in a Russian Orthodox Church in Regensburg around 1950/1951.

I arrived in the USA on the USS William Black (a merchant marine ship) in 1951 with a new name and identity, new religion, new language, and entirely new family.

Years ago I spoke with a woman who knew me from when I first arrived here in America. She said that I spoke a “funny kind of German;” that nobody could understand my language; that I was referred to as an orphan; and that I refused for a long time to relate to the cousin who had brought me over the ocean.

The following places below had been mentioned by the cousins in relation to my parents, my ancestry and/or me:

Bayreuth, Bremen/Bremerhaven, Ebensee, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanau,
Kassel, Koblenz/Coblenz, Koeffering, Schweinfurt, Wildflecken

Silesia, Terezin; Labor camps

Zymna Voda, Kiev, Lvov/Lemberg, KamenyBrod, Kolymysto (Galicia-Ukraine,
Poland); Moscow/Moskva -Russia

England; Spain; Italy; Persia

Please help in my search.

Thank you for any type of help, clues, advice, etc.

Maria/Maruschia Mackey