On Oct. 22, 1941, Ilse Lauer of Newark, N.J., mailed a letter that never reached its destination.

The neatly typed envelope addressed to family in Nuremberg, Germany, was returned to its sender five years later, on Sept. 5, 1946. It bore two official rubber stamp marks in German: “House destroyed, address unknown,’’ and “Further address unknown.’’

To postal historians, the yellowed envelope contains as much history as the birthday greeting inside. It captures — in labels and dates and locations — no less than the unfolding of the Holocaust. Lauer’s family was transported to Nazi concentration camps shortly after the letter was sent, and a local exhibition shows how their fate, like that of many Jewish Holocaust victims, can be traced through what remains of their mail.

An envelope with a camp-made stamp and cancellation mark from the barracks postal system created by Polish officers imprisoned by Nazis

An envelope with a camp-made stamp and cancellation mark from the barracks postal system created by Polish officers imprisoned by Nazis

On Sunday, the “Holocaust Remembrance Philatelic Exhibit’’ opens at the Spellman Museum of Stamps & Postal History at Regis College in Weston. A sobering and surprising collection of Holocaust postal artifacts, it was compiled by philatelist, author, and Chestnut Hill resident Henry Schwab, who himself fled Nazi Germany in 1936 at age 14.

“It’s the story of the mail, the mail that surfaced during the war and after the war,’’ said Schwab, now 88. “I don’t really tell the story of the Holocaust, which has been told endless times. I give the evidence of the mail. Where it was sent from, where it was censored, and where it was canceled leads to telling the story of the fate of these people.’’

The show draws on the extensive research Schwab conducted while writing “The Echoes That Remain’’ (Spellman Museum, 1992), a book that deciphers the personal Holocaust stories captured by hundreds of pieces of World War II correspondence.

The effort began with 12 pages of family mail and grew from there.