A chance discovery of thousands of letters between an exiled German Jew and his family and friends living in Nazi and post-war Germany, as well as around the world, has led to a fascinating research project for University of Southampton historian Dr Shirli Gilbert. Ralph Schwab sought refuge in South Africa after the Nazis came to power in 1933 and his correspondence with relatives and friends, some back in Germany, stretches from the 1930s through to the 1960s. The forgotten collection of 2,500 letters was recently discovered by his grandson Daniel Schwab in his parents' garage in Johannesburg. "Our first job is to translate the letters, which are written in German," says Southampton’s Dr Shirli Gilbert. "We have many documents to examine, which I am sure will add greatly to our understanding of life in both Nazi Germany and South Africa in the middle of the last century."