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Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Meeting J. Stern - Daughter of Mr. Desider Josef Stern.

The first thing i found were the patents... but they didn't help me further.

Youtube helped a lot http://www.youtube.com/user/dwron as well as the fact that an exhibition took place about Mr. Stern in Vienna in the literaturhaus between the 8th of March and the 27th of April 2007.

I contacted the secretary of the literaturhaus and after a few email exchange, could end up contacting the Stern family.

I felt for myself a bit like someone looking into the peep hole... it was a bit uncomfortable... i wouldn't know myself how i would react if someone completely foreign would contact me to say he wants to research about my family. A friend even told me "leave them alone". How would they react if they knew i was researching on the life of their father?

The curiosity won.

It was such a luck: the family was very open and willing to share what they had (the rest still stands in a few boxes... so there is plenty more to do).

There again a few months went by, exchanging emails and then i invited Mm. Stern to come for supper.

And what i became to see just blew up my mind... original patents, trademark registrations, pictures, leaflets...

A complete new side emerged from oblivion...

Names that were a mystery had documents, a story...

I was running between the kitchen ( we had goat cheese on fried pear with rucola salad and honey, then a asparagus risotto, and i can't remember the desert, my mind might have been already somewhere else) and the folder where the documents were stored. I simply couldn't believe it.

Both busy professionally and both hobby travelers, the meetings are either a spontaneous or a 3 month preparation event (sometimes to meet just a few minutes), one constant though, these are precious time and i enjoy every second of it and cherish their memories.

I have heard from a collector friend that it is very rare that family members share their history. I couldn't be more happy with the Stern family. I had contact with the 85 years old brother of Mr. Stern (i can't thank you enough for the book you gave me), and his grandson...  and regular meeting with Mm. Stern of course.

It was a weird feeling to have a folder full of priceless documents at my home and looking through it just gave me thirst to know more.

I like to have the feeling that maybe the family Stern also gained information about their parent through my research.

Anyhow, our path have met in a brilliant and colorful way and i am looking forward to meet again.

A heartfelt Thank to you, Judith.

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