Grete Hamburg donates the stamp album that belonged to her brother Walter Jungleib, who was killed at Bullenhuser Damm, to the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial.
The ceremony was held at the Bullenhuser Damm on the 20th of April 2016 to mark the 71st anniversary of the murder of twenty Jewish children, their four caretakers, and several still unknown adult concentration camp prisoners. The ceremony was attended by many guests, including relatives of the murdered children. This year, Grete Hamburg, the sister of Walter Jungleib, came to the ceremony for the first time. She and her daughter travelled all the way from Israel to Hamburg to attend the ceremony and to visit the places that played a role in her brother's fate.
For a long time, little was known in the city of Hamburg about Walter Jungleib. Historical sources only mentioned the (misspelled) name "W. Junglieb". It wasn't until the summer of 2015 when Bella Reichenbaum, a relative of one of the other children who had been killed at Bullenhuser Damm, and the international Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem helped to shed light on what happened to the Jungleib family during and after the war. You can read more about this under "Identified after 70 Years".
Grete Hamburg, who is 86 years old, swore never to return to Germany, but she is happy she came to Hamburg and can now be certain of what happened to Walter after decades of not knowing. She visited the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial and participated in a ceremony in the Schnelsen neighbourhood of Hamburg for changing the name of the street Jungleibstraße to Walter-Jungleib-Straße. A memorial service took place in the early evening in the former gym of the Bullenhuser Damm school. Attending the ceremony was a class of pupils from Eindhoven in the Netherlands, where two of the Children of Bullenhuser Damm, the brothers Alexander and Eduard Hornemann, were from. Youths who had participated in a youth exchange project last year also talked about their experiences. As every year, the ceremony was hosted by the Children of Bullenhuser Damm organisation.
During the ceremony, Grete Hamburg presented her brother Walter's stamp album to the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial. In an interview, she said of his passion for collecting stamps: "Walter was a gifted stamp collector already at age 9. Later, he became a member of the Children's Philatelic Association. This may not be a valuable collection, but it is precious to me. A friend brought this small album to my mother after the war. The collection is as it was, nothing has been changed. When I immigrated to Israel in 1949, my mother gave the collection to me."
This gift is precious to us as well. Where once there was only a vague child's name, there is now the face of a person with a past, a family and a sister who can tell us about him today. The stamp album is another piece in the puzzle of Walter Jungleib's life that also makes him more real to us. It will be given a place in the exhibition at the Bullenhuser Damm Memorial.