"They never talked of giving up"
In a touching manner, Inge Geiler read to some 50 listeners at the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen from her book "A shadow of our days - The history of the Family Grünbaum." During renovation work in her home, the author had found a bundle of papers in a wall panel behind the radiator of her living room. These papers had been hidden by the Jewish couple Meier and Elise Grünbaum. At the beginning of the forties of the last century, the couple had lived in this room until their deportation to the Theresienstadt ghetto.
"In the summer of 1986, I found 47 letters, eight postcards, documents, and dozens of handwritten notes," says Geiler about their find. "All these papers were covered by copies of the Jewish News Bulletin." "People, I'm so .... unhappy," the 77-year-old read the cursive, handwritten words from one of the notes of Meier Grünbaum. "I wish that I had not come into this world…"stood on another. "Reading these notes, my living room suddenly appeared to become gray and dark," Geiler recalls.
Geiler had thought to give the papers to the Jewish community in Frankfurt, but first she wanted to satisfy her own curiosity and find out more about this family. After 20 years, she found the time and energy to follow the tracks of the family. In numerous state and registry offices, she searched for birth and death certificates and put together the picture of a large family piece by piece. The ITS archives also keep some documents on the fate of the Grünbaums.
The collected information is included in their 528-page work. In her book, Geiler describes the life and sufferings of the Grünbaums, and also describes the overall situation of the Jews in Nazi Germany. "To understand the daily life of the family, I have closely studied the laws of the persecution of Jews from 1933 to 1945," she says.
Although the economic situation of the couple was good, they were worried by the early death of their two children and the atrocities of the Nazi regime. Still Meier and Elise remained strong. After looking at all the documents, Geiler says that despite all the suffering, one thought was clear: Never give up! On 18 August 1942, the Grünbaums of Frankfurt were deported to Theresienstadt. Upon arrival in the ghetto, they were separated by the Nazis after 50 years of marriage. "On 3 September 1942, Meier Grünbaum died of heart failure, and 19 days later, his wife took her own life, preserving her human dignity even in her final days." With this, Geiler ended her presentation.
"Like a shadow our days - The history of the family Grünbaum"
528 pages. Linen. With two parts of the image
€ 28.95 € [A] 29.80 SFR 39.50