Artifact of the month for February

Father’s last letter
David Isak Bermann (1899 -1943)

David Isaac Berman was born in Kaunas, Lithuania in 1899, as one of five children to Israel Bermann and Fanny (b. Becker). In 1907 his family moved to Norway where they settled in Trondheim. David became a Norwegian citizen, served in the Norwegian Royal King’s Arms, and established himself as a tradesman. In 1932 he married Ida Bodnia in Copenhagen. In the winter of 1941/42 David and Ida lived in St. Hanshaugen in Oslo with their three-year old son, Narve. They ran a kitchenware business in down-town Oslo and were expecting their second child in the spring. On March the 30th David was told to report to the German security police on Victoria Terrace. There he was arrested. The store was confiscated and David sent to Northern Norway on work command.

Ida, Narve and Ingar, six months, came into hiding at the home of a policeman, just before the women and children were to be arrested. Ida was forced to leave her youngest son in Norway; he was too small to withstand the necessary medication during the escape to Sweden. On November the 26th, David Berman was deported with the ship Monterosa to Denmark and further by train to Auschwitz. He died there on January 22, 1943. He never saw his youngest son.

The letter from David to Ida and the children, dated 4th of November, 1942 concludes: “… I hope I’ll shortly be allowed to come home again. Kiss and hug our precious loved ones from Papa”

“Father’s last letter” Ida Bermann later wrote on the envelope where she kept the letter.