‘Many Dutch people did not believe what we told them about events in Germany, even Jewish Dutch people couldn’t believe it.’
Charlotte Kaletta, 1957

The death of Fritz Pfeffer

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The people in hiding are betrayed and the Secret Annexe is raided in August 1944. The Frank and Van Pels families and Fritz Pfeffer are all captured. They are held briefly in the transit camp in Westerbork, but on 3 September all eight are deported to Auschwitz, where Fritz is forced to do hard labour building roads. As the allies advance, he is put on a transport of medics to concentration camp Neuengamme, near Hamburg, where he dies on 20 December 1944 – sick, starved and exhausted. He is 55 years old.

 

 

 

Searching

Charlotte Kaletta begins searching for Fritz Pfeffer as soon as the war is over, but only finds out that he has died late in 1945.

In 1953, when relationships forbidden under Nazi law are again recognised, she marries him posthumously, registering their date of marriage as May 1937.

She dies in Amsterdam in 1986. The photographs and Fritz’s letters are later found in a box of her possessions on a flea market.

Gevangen doen zwaar werk in Neuengamme
Forced labour by prisoners of Neuengamme
The search Charlotte Kaletta’s application to the Red Cross as she tries to trace Fritz Pfeffer after the liberation of the Netherlands in 1945.

Werner Pfeffer moves to the United States in 1946 and changes his name to Peter Pepper. When Anne’s diary is published both he and Charlotte are upset by her description of ‘Mr Dussel’.

AFS_A_Pfeffer_III_053.jpgMy father, though strict, was a very kind man, who loved life and freedom.

Werner Pfeffer

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The deportations begin in July 1942, shortly after the Franks have gone into hiding...

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The death of Fritz Pfeffer Westerbork - Auschwitz - Neuengamme

The people in hiding are betrayed and the Secret Annexe is raided in August 1944...

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