In 1923, fifteen-year-old Hans Weinhardt sent a letter from his hometown in Bavaria to Lafayette, Indiana, hoping that it might end up reaching the descendants of distant relatives who had moved there decades earlier. Not long afterward, he received a response from William Weinhardt, the owner of a Lafayette detective agency who would turn out to be Hans’ third cousin. The distant relatives struck up a correspondence that would end up transforming the lives of Hans—later John—Weinhardt and the rest of his family.
Read some of the stories we have gathered here.
Snapshot: The Emmel Family
A 1927 letter from Caroline Emmel of Wiesbaden to her son Karl Emmel, who had immigated to Green Bay, Wisconsin, sheds light on how one middle-class family experienced the hyperinflation period in Germany.