This is a unique epistolary memoir chronicling the efforts of one man to hold together a large family in the face of the Holocaust.
Thanks to Walter Neisser, fifty members of his German-Jewish family escaped to Peru after Hitler came to power. In Walter’s Welcome, Walter’s niece Eva Neisser Echenberg tells the family’s story through letters and photos, from Walter’s days as a German soldier in World War I, through his move to South America, to his business success in Lima where his relatives found work.
Because the story is told mostly through more than 100 original letters written over a 60-year period, it has great poignancy and immediacy. We hear the new refugees trying to start afresh in a foreign land while desperately seeking news of those left behind. We watch as family members still in Germany lose their businesses and pensions, are forced to move, rent out rooms, and struggle to leave – usually unsuccessfully. We read the telegram that arrived too late and the first letters sent after release from a concentration camp.