Shocking revelations after woman researches family historyPosted: Updated:
PRESCOTT VALLEY - It was a shocking secret kept hidden for years until a Prescott Valley woman decided to do some digging.
This family secret dates back centuries but it was only recently that the pieces of this puzzle came together.
"I knew there was a story there," Terri Brahm says. "I knew there was something about my family."
From the very beginning, Terri had an intriguing story. She grew up in the Hollywood Hills and her parents lived a rather glamorous life.
Terri's dad owned a limousine company and became friends with many famous people. She even has a picture of her dad, Ralph, with singer Tom Jones. But beneath the surface there was a lot more to this story.
Terri admits, "It's very emotional for me." It wasn't until her father died in a tragic accident that Terri released just how intriguing her life really was. It was a mystery that began to unravel slowly and painfully. "When I found out my family was in a Jewish concentration camp I wanted to know more. I wanted to know everything there was to know about my family."
Being Jewish was a secret he had kept hidden from everyone, including his wife and children.
Terri spent the past five years uncovering the truth. Her father's name wasn't really Ralph, it was Uri Hanauer. He was one of 15,000 children who entered a prison camp in Germany between 1941 and 1945. Only 132 children survived.
Terri explains, "I was like 'Oh my gosh this is proof that my father was registered as a Jew and he had to carry identification card even though he was just a child."
Through her relentless research, Terri also learned that her grandfather, Hans, was sent to Aushwitz.
Her grandfather wrote a postcard on the day he was being taken away from his family. He also wrote a card to his wife. Immediately when she uncovered it, Terri had it translated from German to English. It read, "Always know that there is someone thinking of you. Someone who loves you. I just hope all will be good once again."
Her grandparents never saw each other again. Hans Hanauer was murdered at Aushwitz at the age of 34.
Terri says, "I just couldn't imagine what he could have seen. What he could have been put through."
Terri ended up with thousands of letters and original documents dating back to Germany in the early 20th century. The more digging she did, the more revelations she uncovered. She was determined to trace her family's genealogy.
She admits, "History is really important, especially our own history."
Psychologist Kim Popkey believes uncovering our family history, while sometimes painful, is also therapeutic. Popkey explains, " It's very therapeutic. Our life is like a puzzle and as we grow the more wisdom we get the more pieces we get. We want to become a complete and whole person.
It took years for Terri to put the pieces of her life together. She wanted to do it for herself but also for her father. "I guess my family can now rest in peace because their story has been told."< /p>
Terri shared with 3TV all of the resources she used to trace her family's history. The following are six different links including Gene Tree and My Heritage: