Nearly 70 years after Dr. Spicker mailed this letter to Mrs.
Roosevelt, some current residents of Adams, Massachusetts visited the
Roosevelt Library. During their tour of our Museum they read Dr.
Spicker’s letter and noticed the Adams address.
When they got home, they alerted a town historian in Adams who
publishes a newsletter for the Adams Historical Society. He set out to
find descendants of the doctor and was able to locate Spicker’s
granddaughter, Marianne Spicker, in West Lafayette, Indiana. Marianne
guided him to her aunt, Inge Wegener (Dr. Spicker’s daughter), who lives
in Lombard, Illinois.
Dr. Spicker and his family were German
Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany who came to the United States in 1939.
They eventually became American citizens and forged a new life in
western Massachusetts. The doctor’s parents and many members of his
extended family perished during the Holocaust.
Inge Wegener had
no idea that her father had ever written a letter to the First Lady and
was moved to tears when she learned his letter was on display at the
Roosevelt Library. On April 8, Marianne Spicker phoned the Library to
see if she could confirm the story and get a digital copy of her
Museum staff quickly provided her with a
high-resolution scan of the letter and she gave us background
information about her grandfather’s story, including this photograph of
Dr. Spicker. Professor Spicker died in 1998. He is the little boy in
this 1938 family photograph provided to us by Marianne. The girl is his