My Father’s Suitcase

MY FATHER’S SUITCASE. will be a documentary about the contents of a Woolworth’s suitcase that was carried by a young boy fleeing from from Nazi German persecution at the start of the Holocaust and charts his life and the fate of the family that sent him away to survive.

Hans Adolf Isenthahl was a teenage boy in Berlin in the 1930s and although his family were  comfortably off and part of the community, his father who had won the Iron Cross fighting for his country in WW1 was Jewish.  Already the restrictions being placed on Jews were effecting his life.  At that point they had no idea that, the Isenthal’s business would be stolen, when his father’s business partner denounced him to the Nazis.  But his father, Raphael suspected the evil times were coming and applied for a scholarship for his son in England. 

Then on the 9th and 10th of November 1938 the infamous events of Kristallnacht occurred with the rounding up and murdering of Jews and the mass destruction of their property.  One week later on his fourteenth birthday, Hans Adolf boarded a train for England with just a suitcase, ten Marks and the clothes he stood up in, with no idea what the future would bring.  80 years later he gave that suitcase full of letters to his daughter, to “Keep the family chronicle” This is that story.