Heinemann family reunion in Lueneburg

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Nameplates for the descendants of the Heinemann family

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)

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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)

German version of this website
News-Archiv 2015