Heinemann family reunion in Lueneburg
German version of this website
On July 10–13, 2015, more than forty descendants of the Jewish family Heinemann from Lueneburg met in the town of their ancestors. The occasion was the restitution of objects which in 1940 had been acquired unlawfully by the museum association from the estate of Marcus Heinemann (1819–1908). Marcus Heinemann was a highly respected banker and patron, founder and moving spirit behind countless social initiatives in Lueneburg and beyond. He was one of the founding members of the museum association, donated many valuable objects and remained closely connected to the museum throughout his lifetime. Marcus Heinemann and his wife Henriette had 17 children, 13 of whom reached adulthood. In a generous gesture, around 60 of his heirs had decided well before coming to Lueneburg to give the restituted family objects on a longterm loan to the mseum.
To witness the restitution of these objects, descendants of both Marcus and his brother Salomon Heinemann came to the museum. Great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren and even great-great-great-grandchildren between 8 and 80 years of age travelled to Lueneburg: from the US, Great Britain, Israel, Guatemala, France and Germany. Most of them had not known each other before, had in many cases not even been aware of the existence of such a large family. Over the course of the weekend, they set out to search for their roots, assisted by the museum’s staff and volunteers. They discovered traces of their family’s history all over town, exchanged stories and memories of relatives – and above all got to know each other.
In a very unusual way, this weekend at the museum thus brought together the past, the present and the future: The common look back into history, with all its beautiful and all its painful aspects, created a very special atmosphere which none of those present is likely to forget very soon. The museum provided the space for talks, emotions, images, discussions, discoveries and experiences. All over town, Lueneburgers opened their doors and houses, inviting the Heinemanns into their homes, giving them the feeling that they were warmly welcome in Lueneburg – seventy years after the end of the war.
(Anneke de Rudder)
Small photo gallery
(please click on the thumbnails)
Almost Lost: the Heinemann Legacy – a film from Dr. Becki Cohn-Vargas
Newspaper article, LZ, July, 13, 2015, Treffen der Heinemanns – Internationaler Festakt im Lüneburger ...(330 KB)