Beim Erstellen meines nächsten Buches über Josef Weiss, den letzten Judenältesten von Bergen-Belsen, ergab sich ein besonderer Teilaspekt, über den ich die Leser meiner Homepage in Kenntnis setzen möchte. Sicher spielt auch die Hoffnung dabei eine Rolle, durch den englischsprachigen Artikel meines israelischen Mitarbeiters Shmuel Emanuel und seiner Angehörigen weitere Hinweise zu bekommen, die den in Israel lebenden Nachkommen eine letzte Gewissheit verschaffen.
Es geht um Marthe (Chana) Emanuel-Goldschmidt, eine der wenigen Toten, deren Grab bis heute nicht gefunden wurde. Sie gehörte zum dritten Transport – vom heutigen Standpunkt aus irrtümlicherweise immer noch verlorener Zug genannt - , mit dem die SS Häftlinge und „Austauschjuden“ Anfang April 1945 vom Konzentrationslager Bergen-Belsen abtransportierte, als sich die britischen Truppen dem Lager näherten. Insgesamt waren es drei Transportzüge mit ca. 6.800 Männern, Frauen und Kinder, die zwischen dem 6. und 11. April 1945 praktisch als Geiseln zur Abfahrt gebracht wurden. Deren Fahrtziel sollte das Konzentrationslager Theresienstadt auf dem Gebiet des deutschen "Protektorats Böhmen und Mähren" sein.
Der letzte dieser drei Züge, der in der Fachliteratur immer noch lost train bezeichnet wird, hielt schließlich nach einer Irrfahrt durch noch unbesetzte Teile Deutschlands in der Nähe der brandenburgischen Gemeinde Tröbitz auf offener Strecke an. Am 23. April 1945 fanden vorrückende Truppen der Roten Armee den Zug und befreiten die Häftlinge, von denen über 200 die Fahrt nicht überlebt hatten. In den nachfolgenden Wochen starben weitere 320 Menschen an den Nachwirkungen des Todestransports durch eine Epidemie. Das im nächsten Jahr erscheinende Buch über den aus Flamersheim stammenden Josef Weiss gibt Auskunft darüber, wie der letzte Judenälteste von Bergen-Belsen auch in Tröbitz bereit war, Verantwortung zu übernehmen.
In dem folgenden Beitrag „Summary of the efforts made to find the burial site of Mrs. Marthe (Chana) Emanuel-Goldschmidt” fasst die Familie ihre langjährige Suche nach dem Grab von Chana zusammen, der Mutter von Shmuel Emanuel. Ich stellte ihn und seine große Familie bereits in meinen NEWS vom 31. Dezember 2009 und in einem ausführlichen Artikel zum Thema Über die Würde und Gnade, Bergen-Belsen und den Holocaust zu überleben vor. Hier erwähnte ich auch Shmuels Mutter Chana:
Es ist unmöglich, alle Beispiele aufzuzählen, die symptomatisch für die jüdisch-orthodoxe Familie Emanuel sind. Jedoch ist ein Sachverhalt besonders bewegend und betrifft die Mutter Chana:
In der Nacht des Shabbat Nachamu des Jahres 1944 wurde Chana vor den Judenrat von Bergen-Belsen geladen, weil sie die Regeln des Lagers gebrochen hätte. Sie hatte an diesem Tag eine Portion Haferbrei für ihr hungerndes, jüngstes Kind gekocht. Gerade an diesem Tag jedoch hatte die deutsche Lagerleitung den Insassen eine Kollektivstrafe auferlegt, und Kochen war grundsätzlich verboten. Der Judenrat von Bergen-Belsen, der bis Dezember 1944 einigermaßen selbstständig fungieren durfte, bestand fast ausschließlich aus jüdischen Honoratioren wie Rechtsanwälten, Richtern und Strafverteidigern.
Im Gegensatz zu sonst war die Verhandlung außerordentlich kurz. Chana Emanuel verzichtete auf ihr Recht, sich zu verteidigen und akzeptierte anstandslos die Bestrafung, die aus einer mehrtägigen Einziehung ihrer Brotration bestand. Als sie später gefragt wurde, warum sie nicht um Gnade gebeten oder ausdrücklich auf die Umstände hingewiesen habe, wies Chana, Yonas und Shmuels Mutter, – selbstbewusst und überzeugend in ihrer jüdischen Frömmigkeit -, darauf hin, dass der „Gerichtsprotokollant“ doch jüdisch wäre! Hätte sie sich verteidigt und ausführlich die Mutter-Kind-Situation dargestellt, hätte der Mann jedes Wort niederschreiben müssen. Diese Arbeit wäre am Sabbat vom Glauben her nicht erlaubt. Sie wollte keineswegs noch zusätzlich den Sabbat schänden - auf Kosten eines Juden.
Yona und Shmuel Emanuel ergänzen in ihrem Buch, dass ihre vom jüdischen Glauben überzeugte Mutter in der Nacht vom Freitag zum Samstag – also am Sabbath – verstarb. Dieses eigentlich erschütternde und doch paradoxe Ereignis fand in dem besonderen Zug statt, der gerade die nur wenigen Überlebenden aus dem Konzentrationslager Bergen-Belsen abtransportierte und dann befreit wurde.
Während die Grabstellen der während der Zugfahrt nach Tröbitz umgekommenen „Austauschjuden“ nach dem Kriege fast vollständig entdeckt und nun würdig bestattet wurden, blieb die letzte Ruhestätte von Marthe (Chana) Emanuel-Goldschmidt irgendwo am Bahndamm zwischen Bergen-Belsen und Tröbitz unbekannt. Folgender Beitrag fasst die bisher erfolglosen Bemühungen zusammen, das Grab der Mutter von Shmuel Emanuel zu finden.
Summary of the efforts made to find the burial site
of Mrs. Marthe (Chana) Emanuel-Goldschmidt
The following is a summary of the investigations conducted between February and August 2010 by the children and grandchildren of Marthe (Chana) Emanuel-Goldschmidt, at the initiative of her son, Sam (Shmuel) Emanuel.
Photo of Marthe Emanuel – Goldschmidt together with her husband Marcus (Mordechai) and their eight children (Rotterdam, February 1940).
At the very end of the Second World War, when the Nazis realized that their defeat was imminent, they decided to transfer the inmates of several concentration camps to other camps. The investigation we undertook revolves round the evacuation by train of prisoners of two camps — Bergen-Belsen and Neuengamme. Hundreds of the prisoners on these trains were killed or died during the course of the journey. The stories of the trains are interrelated (although the stories of the prisoners in the two camps were different) and the fate of the passengers was the same.
A: Some of the Bergen-Belsen inmates were forced to board three trains which travelled aimlessly around north Germany until they were liberated by the Allies. One train with 2,400 Jews on board left Bergen-Belsen on April 6 (or 7) and was liberated by the American army in Farsleben, about 20 kilometers south of the town of Magdeburg. A second train with 1712 Jews from the "Hungarian Camp" (Ungarnlager, a sub-camp within Bergen-Belsen) left on April 9 and arrived in Theresienstadt on April 20. The third train with thousands of inmates from the "Star Camp" (Sternlager, also a sub-camp within Bergen-Belsen) and several hundred sick inmates from the Hungarian Camp left Bergen-Belsen on April 10. This train was liberated by the Russian army near Troebitz (south of Berlin) after a journey of two weeks. This third train was known as "the Lost Train" because even after the allied victory no one knew where it had disappeared in the chaos that reigned in Germany at the end of the war (1).
Hundreds (!) of the passengers of these trains – at least of the second and third trains – died during the journey, or were killed in Allied air attacks. The bodies were taken off the trains at the Nazis' orders. Some were buried by their fellow passengers next to the tracks (2), while others were left without burial. The names of the deceased and their places of burial were carefully listed by the other passengers (see below). Hundreds more of those in the Lost Train died after liberation in Troebitz (3).
Mrs. Marthe Emanuel-Goldschmidt died in the Lost Train on Shabbat (Saturday), April 14, when the train was in the region of the German town of Lüneburg (approximately 60 km. south-east of Hamburg and 70 km. north-east of Bergen-Belsen). She was 44 years old (4). Three of her children were with her in the train: Bella (later: Bella Schindler) was with her in the same compartment. Two sons, Yona and Baruch, were in a different compartment. All three were extremely sick and were unable to take care of their mother's body. As far as they knew, the corpse was taken off the train and left without burial.(5)
B: At the beginning of April hundreds of prisoners from Neuengamme who were transported to the labor camp at Wilhelmshaven were forced to board a train. This train also rode aimlessly around north Germany. On April 7, while stopping at the town of Lüneburg, it was bombed by the Allies and many of the prisoners were killed. Others fled into the fields and were murdered by the Nazis. Only a few prisoners survived, and they were sent to Bergen-Belsen. A total of 243 or 244 prisoners were killed there. (Most of these prisoners were not Jewish, but 19 were Jews from Budapest.) (6) Five months after the end of the war, at the beginning of October 1945, they were all reinterred in a mass grave in Tiergarten, Lüneburg, in the presence of a rabbi and two Christian clergymen (7).
We have the list of the graves in Tiergarten (see below). It must be stressed that this is not a mass grave in the traditional sense of the word. Each one of the victims was buried in a separate coffin in a separate grave after a methodical list was drawn up with the few identifying details of each body. Howeve
2. Our present investigations
The investigations that we conducted began following our discovery of the list of the deceased from the Lost Train (see below) – we had been totally unaware of this document's existence. Our work focused only on those people who died in the Lost Train when it was in the vicinity of Lüneburg. We did not deal at all with the burial places of those who died at other stages of the train journey. It is apparent from the lists drawn up by passengers of the Lost Train and the train of the Hungarian prisoners that scores of additional bodies were buried or left close to the railway tracks; but as mentioned, we did not deal with these at all.
Our work is in fact the continuation of a previous study conducted by Pastor Hans-Erwin Zabel, during the 1990s. Zabel spent years trying to find the grave of Yitzhak Cohen who also died on the Lost Train, on the same day as Marthe Emanuel-Goldschmidt. Zabel's findings and his extensive correspondence on the subject are concentrated in a file bearing his name in the archives of the Ghetto Fighters' House Museum (9). Our present investigation was only possible due to Zabel's study; but during the course of our research new data, unknown to Zabel, came to light.
3. The burial of some of those who died on the Lost Train
Josef (Jupp) Weiss served as the Judenälteste of the Star Camp in Bergen-Belsen and meticulously listed the details of all those who died in the camp (10). Weiss' notebook in his handwriting still exists, and preserved in the archives of the Ghetto Fighters' House Museum. However, Weiss' lists only go as far as April 4, before the trains left Bergen-Belsen.
Weiss, too, was one of those on the Lost Train, and there he continued to carefully list the names of the deceased and their places of burial. (Weiss himself was sick at the time of that journey, and it is possible that the lists were drawn up at his order, that he did not do it himself.) We have two type-written lists which are based on Weiss' lists, but despite all our efforts we were unable to find the original notebook with handwritten lists (11). This notebook seems to have perished.
The two typed lists are the same, although one is in Dutch and the other is in German. The Dutch list is more well known and has already been seen by some of the survivors of the train. We found photocopies of that list both in Zabel's file in the archives of the Ghetto Fighters' House Museum, and in a file of Yosef Weiss' documents now in the hands of his granddaughter, Atara Dayan, who lives in Kfar Bin-Nun, Israel. We do not know where the original list is. The list in German was unknown till now. We found it in file 672 in the archives of the Ghetto Fighters' House Museum. The copy we saw is typed on very thin paper. It seems that Weiss (or someone else at his request) printed the list in several copies, using carbon paper. The copy we saw is one of the original copies. (Photos of both lists are brought in Appendices 11-12.)
According to Weiss' list 5 people were buried on April 14, and an additional 7 were left unburied next to the railway tracks. We found two significant differences between the two lists.
The location of the graves: In the German list we learn that five bodies were buried next to the railway tracks along the Uelzen-Lüneburg line, 70 meters north of the 129th kilometer stone of the railway track, at the edge of the forest west of the tracks. In the Dutch list there is no mention of the kilometer number.
2. The identity of those who were buried: Weiss listed the people who died on each day (or during each section of the journey), and numbered each and every one of the deceased in sequence. Weiss also noted the fate of the deceased – which numbers were buried and where, or which numbers were left without burial.
On the said day, April 14, there are two small, but significant, differences between the list in German and the one in Dutch. The first difference lies in the numbers given to the eight last bodies; the second difference is which bodies were buried and which were not.
The list in Dutch
The list in German
No. 26: Katz, Albert: buried
No. 26: Katz, Albert: buried
No. 27: Kronstein, Elia: buried
No. 27: Kronstein, Elia: buried
No. 28: Vogel-Simons, Rachel: buried
No. 28: Vogel-Simons, Rachel: buried
No. 29: Cohen, Isaac: not buried
No. 29: Cohen, Isaac: not buried
No. 30: Gumpers-Neu, Amalia: not buried
No. 29a: Gumpers-Neu, Amalie: not buried
No. 31: Emanuel-Goldschmidt, Marthe: buried
No. 30: Emanuel-Goldschmidt, Marthe: not buried
No. 32: Calvary, Walter: not buried
No. 31: Calvary, Walter: buried
No. 33: Speyer-Schrijver, Sara:
No. 32: Speyer-Schrijver, Sara:
No. 34: Mandil, Rachamim: not buried
No. 33: Mandil, Rachamim: not buried
No. 35: Bahar, Rachela: not buried
No. 34: Bahar, Rachela: not buried
No. 36: Pekel, Aron: buried
No. 35: Pekel, Aron: not buried
No. 36a: Todt, ---: not buried
No. 36: Todt, ---: buried
A detailed comparison of the two lists proves that the list in German is the original, and the Dutch is a translation (14). This assumption is supported by the fact that Weiss wrote all his lists in Bergen-Belsen in German (15). It should be noted that only the list in Dutch is in the file of documents in the possession of his granddaughter, despite the fact that this is not the original list.
Had we been aware of the existence of the German list we would not have started our investigation at all, since according to that list Marthe Emanuel-Goldschmidt was not buried. However, this list fell into our hand at a very late stage in our investigations. Till then we were spurred on by the Dutch list which states that our mother/grandmother was buried.
4. The burial of a few of those who died on the Hungarian train
The fate of the passengers in the Hungarian train was very similar to that of those in the Lost Train. (The data below are based on the list of those who died in the Hungarian camp and on the Hungarian train, drawn up by Dr. Ferdinand Szende.) (16) In that train there were 8 people who died as the train passed close to Lüneburg, as detailed here:
- Three people were buried on 15/4/45 at kilometer 133.7 – slightly further north of the burial site of those from the Lost Train. Their names: Laszio Feldmann, Andras Neumann, Kato Silberstein-Berman (nos. 389-391 on the list of those deceased).
- Four others were killed during an Allied air raid on the night between April 15/16, and they were not buried. Their names: Sandor Goldmann, Elemer Mellinger, Jeno Pagit, Erno Sarlay (nos. 393-396 on the list) (17). We know from other testimonies that the Hungarian train stayed that night in Lüneburg (18).
- Another woman, Klara Tauszig (no. 392 on the list), who died on the same day, was buried in the cemetery of Hagenow Land, far from Lüneburg. (19)
5. Interim summary
From the above it is clear that several bodies were taken off the two trains close to the town of Lüneburg on 14-15 April, 1945. Some of them were buried, others were not.
- Five of those on the Lost Train – 4 men and a woman – were buried at the 129th kilometer of the Uelzen-Lüneburg railway tracks. (This data is based on the list in German; according to the Dutch list 3 men and 2 women were buried.)
- Three of those on the Hungarian train – 2 men and a woman – were buried at the 133.7th kilometer of the tracks.
- Seven bodies from the Lost Train – 3 men and 4 women – were taken off the train but were not buried (according to the German list).
- Four victims of the air raid in the Hungarian train – seemingly all men – were taken off the train but were not buried.
6. The discovery of some of the bodies
Several months after the end of the war and just a few days after the burial in Tiergarten of those killed from the Neuengamme camp, the bodies of about 10 Jews were found in the vicinity of Lüneburg.
Mr. Grzenia of the Lüneburg municipality sent us the town's police report of October 8, 1945, testifying to the finding of 6 bodies near the town. At the bottom of the page there is additional testimony from October 9 concerning the transfer of those bodies – 4 men and 2 women – that were found near the Uelzen-Lüneburg railway tracks, about 500 meters from hut 574. A third testimony, also from October 9, is more detailed. We bring here a translation of the document (20):
- Jewish man, civilian clothes, teeth in good condition, two teeth missing, dark hair.
- Jewish man, civilian clothes, good teeth, dark hair.
- Woman, age about 40, flat facial features, Jewish.
- Woman, upper teeth missing, 4 teeth on the right side, 4 teeth on the left side.
- Man, age about 40, civilian clothes, no special features.
- Jewish man, dressed in red and white pyjamas (striped prisoners uniform), no special features.
The bodies were removed and transferred to the Waldfriedhof (Forest Cemetery). Additional information concerning the discovery of the bodies appears in the local newspaper of that day. We bring here a translation (22):
Additional graves have been found next to the railway tracks not far from where the prisoners of the concentration camp (23) stopped on April 7 and were executed. In some of the graves were bodies of women. In the others were prisoners who, according to the marking on their clothes, were Jewish. These graves were also opened under the supervision of a French army officer, and coffins are already placed at the site. Another mass grave, in addition to the 6 mass graves that are already in Tiergarten, (24) has been dug for the burial of the approximately 20 additional bodies (25).
7. The burial
We have a photocopy of one page from the register of those buried in Lüneburg in 1945 (26). In this register the prisoners from Neuengamme are listed (Nos. 1-244) (27) and after them several additional bodies (Nos. 245-255), most of which are explicitly listed as being the bodies of Jews. All the bodies are nameless with only a few identifying features listed: male/female, approximate age, marks identifying Jews, clothing and a few other physical features.
The description of bodies 249-254 in this list is identical to the description of the bodies in the police report of October 9. In other words, those 6 bodies are listed now as 249-254. In addition to those 6 bodies, 5 additional bodies that are not of Neuengamme prisoners are listed in the register: nos. 245-248 and no. 255. An additional body, no. 256 is listed in the comparative table from 1951 which we discuss below. Four of these bodies are explicitly listed as Jews: one woman (no. 245) and 3 men (nos. 247, (28) 248, 255). No. 246 is apparently also Jewish similar to the numbers before and after him. One can assume that there are more police reports in the Lüneburg municipality concerning the finding of the 6 additional bodies: nos. 244-248 and nos. 255 and 256. However, we were unable to find those reports.
All 256 bodies were buried in a mass grave in Tiergarten, under the numbers that are listed in the above register. Nos. 1-244 are prisoners from Neuengamme, who are buried in rows 1-6 of the cemetery. The other bodies are buried at the end of row 6 (nos. 245-248) and in row 7 (nos. 249-254 at one end of the row and nos. 255-256 at the other end ). (29)
At the right of the gate to the cemetery is a cross, and on the left side is a Star of David. (See picture in Appendix 6).
In May 1951 all 256 bodies were disinterred in an attempt to identify them. This was carried out by the French Red Cross. Approximately 100 bodies of Neuengamme prisoners were clearly identified and sent to their families in France, Belgium and Italy. The rest of the bodies were described in great detail and then reinterred in coffins (30). During the process, pathological reports of two pages per body were compiled. These reports are preserved in the Lüneburg municipality. We received photocopies of the reports of just 3 bodies, all women, one of whom we assumed to probably be our mother/grandmother – Marthe Emanuel-Goldschmidt: nos. 245, 251 and 252 (31).
At the same time a table was compiled comparing the very short description of the bodies from 1945 and the detailed pathological description of 1951. The table covers tens of pages. In Appendix 21 we bring the relevant pages – the first pages and the last pages where bodies 245-256 are listed.
8. Identifying the bodies
In the police report and the local newspaper mentioned above it explicitly mentions the fact that at least some of the bodies found in October 1945 were of Jews. However, no mention is given of where the deceased came from. We have clear information that these people arrived from Bergen-Belsen. The French officer, Jean le Chollet, testified in August 1946 in the trial of the Nazis who murdered passengers of the Neuengamme train, saying:
If ever one has to open again the cemetery one will find about ten internees from Bergen-Belsen who were buried at about 300 yards from the place of the mass grave to which we are now referring, and who are now in the same cemetery, as well as two Russians who are believed to have been shot during the same air raid while looting. Those who were in that mass grave were clothed in the striped pyjamas but the other ten were not (32).
He is, of course, referring to graves nos. 245 and higher in the cemetery, where Jews are buried and apparently 2 Russians. The prisoners in Bergen-Belsen, at least in the Star Camp, wore civilian clothes.
The main question we dealt with is: Who are the 6 Jews – 4 men and 2 women – whose bodies were found in one place (nos. 249-254), and who are the other Jews whose bodies were also found in the vicinity of Lüneburg – nos. 245, , 247, 248 and 255.
We have mentioned four groups of deceased people found near the town:
Four men and one woman from the Lost Train were buried at the 129th kilometer of the railway tracks. This location is very close to hut 574 where 6 bodies were found (33).
- Three men and four women from the Lost Train died close to the 129th kilometer. Their bodies were taken off the train but were not buried (34).
- Three of the Hungarian train passengers – apparently 2 men and 1 woman – were buried at the 133.7th kilometer of the tracks.
- Four passengers of the Hungarian train – apparently all men – were killed in the air raid near Lüneburg and were not buried.
Not one of these four groups fits exactly to the group of bodies that was found on October 8. However, one may assume that these six bodies belong to group 1 (5 of the Lost Train that were buried), plus a body of an additional Jewish woman from the Lost Train from group 2 who somehow was attached to them (there seem to have been no women in group 4).
If our assumptions are correct, then the men who are buried in Tiergarten as nos. 249,250, 253 and 254 are Albert Katz, Elia Kronstein, Walter Calvari and Ignac Todt. As for the two women buried as nos. 251 and 252: one of them is Rachel Vogel-Simons (35), and the second is perhaps one of the 4 women from the Lost Train who were not buried: Marthe Emanuel-Goldschmidt, Amalie Gumpers-Neu, Sara Speyer-Schrijver and Rachela Bahar.
The other bodies found near Lüneburg include (36):
- No. 245: a Jewish woman.
- No. 246: a man – probably also Jewish.
- No. 247: unclear where it is of a Jewish man or of a woman. In the 1945 Lüneburg register of deceased persons it is listed as a Jewish man, whereas in the 1951 pathological report it says that the pelvis is that of a woman.
- No. 248: a Jewish man. At the opening of the graves in 1951 the grave was found to be empty. We have no explanation for this.
- No. 255: a Jewish man.
In total: one or two women, three or four men (of which one is not clearly identified as being Jewish).
We do not know exactly where these bodies were found, and we also do not know whether they were found together or not. However, in pathological tests that were conducted in 1951 all the bodies were found to have had severe injuries (except for no. 248 which had disappeared): missing arms and/or legs, severe spinal injuries and crushed faces, etc.
We therefore assume that 4 of these bodies are men from the Hungarian train, who were killed in the air raid: Sandor Goldmann, Elemer Mellinger, Jeno Pagit, Erno Sarlay.
We do not know the identity of the fifth body, no. 245, a woman who also sustained injuries.
Even at the end of this long process, we do not know what happened to the body of our mother/grandmother, Marthe Emanuel-Goldschmidt. As mentioned, it is possible that she was buried in Tiergarten in grave no. 251 or 252; but the chances are small. Moreover, the various details given in the 1951 descriptions, especially in that of body no. 251, do not match what her children remember of her (37).
Our work is left uncompleted.
"G-d, in His great kindness will revive the dead; blessed forever is His praised Name." (End of Yigdal hymn)
Many individuals and institutions helped us in our efforts. We extend our most heartfelt gratitude to:
Rabbi Dov Levi Barzilay, Rabbi of North Germany
Mrs. Atara Dayan, granddaughter of Josef (Jupp) Weiss, Judenälteste of the Star Camp in Bergen-Belsen
Dr. Maya Freund, Abu Kabir Forensic Institute
Mr. Hans-Georg Grzenia, Lüneburg municipality: responsible for cemeteries
Mr. Bernd Horstmann, Head of the Bergen-Belsen memorial site
Mr. Gadi Kellermann, Zaka Organization
Mr. Ariel Krolzig
Mr. Jürgen Landmann, Lüneburg municipality
Dr. Peter Lenhard
Mr. Manfred Messer , Geschichtswerkstatt Lüneburg
Mrs. Elsa Oppenheim, one of the passengers of the Lost Train, and her husband Professor Uri Oppenheim
Mr. Naftali Ra'anan, Zaka Organization
Rabbi Jacob Rozha, Chairman of Rabbinical Board of Zaka, and representative of the Chief Rabbinate at the Forensic Institute
Mr. Yossi Shavit, head of the archives at the Ghetto Fighters House Museum
Yad Vashem Archives, Jerusalem
Holocaust Museum, Washington: library and Holocaust Survivors and Victims Resource Center
10. List of enclosed documents
- The routes taken by the three trains that left Bergen-Belsen (from Bergen-Belsen: Kriegsgefangenenlager 1940 - 1945, Konzentrationslager 1943 - 1945, Displaced-persons-Camp 1945 - 1950: Katalog der Dauerausstellung, Göttingen 2009, p. 188.
- Correspondence between Sam Emanuel and Bernd Hosrtmann (April-May 2010).
- Correspondence between Sam Emanuel and Bernd Hosrtmann (May-June 2010).
- Correspondence between Sam Emanuel and Bernd Hosrtmann (June-August 2010).
- Sketch of Tiergarten cemetery (received from the Lüneburg municipality).
- Photo of gate to Tiergarten cemetery, April 2010 (received from the Lüneburg municipality).
- Photo taken by Rabbi Dov Levi Barzilay in May 2010 of the Tiergarten cemetery and the adjacent railway tracks.
- Summary of Pastor Zabel's study (received from the archives of the Ghetto Fighters House Museum).
- Article written by Pastor Zabel: Hans-Erwin Zabel, ‘Das Massengrab im Tiergarten Lüneburg’, Der Heidewanderer (Heimatbeilage der Allgemeinen Zeitung, Uelzen), 3/12/1994, pp. 199-200.
- Correspondence concerning the fate of Weiss' original list.
- Weiss' list in Dutch.
- Weiss' list in German.
- Map of the railway tracks from the site http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanover%E2%80%93Hamburg_railway.
- Dr. Ferdinand Szende's list of the victims from the Hungarian train. Source: Jewish Historical Museum in Belgrade (call 298, K26-2-2 / 2)
- List of those who died from the Hungarian train in the vicinity of Lüneburg, drawn up by Mr. Horstmann based on lists from the Bergen-Belsen memorial site.
- Police reports concerning the finding of bodies in Lüneburg (received from the Lüneburg municipality).
- Page 11 from the register of those buried in Lüneburg in 1945 (received from the Lüneburg municipality).
- Correspondence between Sam Emanuel and Hans-Georg Grzenia (April 2010).
- Correspondence between Sam Emanuel and Hans-Georg Grzenia (May 2010).
- Correspondence between Sam Emanuel and Hans-Georg Grzenia (March-June 2010).
- Table comparing the 1945 description of the bodies buried in Tiergarten and the detailed 1951 pathological description (first and last pages only). Source: International Tracing Service (ITS), file no. 7288; see http://www.its-arolsen.org/en/archives/inventory_search/show_result/index.html?no_cache=1&ushmm_iid=1-10697.
- Letter from Dr. Suzanne Kill and the map enclosed.
- Correspondence between Sam Emanuel and Jürgen Landmann of the Lüneburg municipality.
- Erika Arlt's book on the Lost Train: Die jüdische Gedenkstätten: Tröbitz, Wildgrube, Langennaundorf und Schilda im Landkreis Elbe-Elster, Herzberg 1999.
- Immo de Vries' book on the train of the Neuengamme camp prisoners: Kriegsverbrechen in Lüneburg: Das Massengrab im Tiergarten, Lüneburg 2000.
* The summary was written by Prof. Simcha Emanuel, firstname.lastname@example.org
1) See Appendix 1 and Appendix 3 (Horstmann's letter of 24/6/2010). For further details concerning the people on the three trains, see Solomon Samson, He'emanti ki Adaber, Jerusalem, 1990, pp. 346-347.
2) See for example Werner Weinberg, "The Lost Transport: Reminiscences," Yad Vashem Studies, 15, 1983, pp. 283-326; Samson, He'emanti ki Adaber, p. 360.
3) See Appendix 24.
4) Her moving life story is related in the book authored by her son Yona Emanuel, Yesupar le-Dor, Jerusalem 1994 (Translated as Dignity to Survive: One Family's Story of Faith in the Holocaust, Targum Press, 1998); and by her great-granddaughter Rotem Ansbacher, in Shmuel Emanuel, Kamnu ve-Nitodad, Sha'alvim, 2008, pp. 285-323.
5) For more details see Emanuel, Dignity to Survive, p. 243.
6) See Appendix 25, Immo de Vries, Kriegsverbrechen in Lüneburg: Das Massengrab im Tiergarten, Lüneburg 2000, pp. 36-37.
7) Ibid., p. 48.
8) See Appendices 5-7 (map of the cemetery, photo of the entrance to the cemetery and photos of the cemetery and the adjacent railway tracks).
9) See Appendices 8-9.
10) Weiss' heroic activity in Bergen-Belsen has not yet been given due credit. The following quotation gives one an idea of his uniqueness: "Anyone who was in the Star Camp in Bergen-Belsen remembers the camp Judenälteste, Josef (Jupp) Weiss, with affection. In contrast to many other Jews who served in roles of leadership in ghettos and camps, no one ever had a complaint against him, and no bad word was ever spoken of him. He was like the Israelite officials in Egypt who dedicated their lives to helping their enslaved and persecuted brethren." (Shmuel Emanuel, "Zichronot mi-Leil ha-Seder Tasha be-Machane Bergen-Belsen" (Memories from Seder Night 1945 in Bergen-Belsen), Ha-Ma'ayan, 50, 2010, no. 3, p. 73).
11) See Appendix 10.
12)See the map in Appendix 13.
13) The lists can be seen in Appendices 11 and 12.
14) For example, in the German list, under nos. 15 and 28, two men with dual nationality – British/Dutch – are listed. In the Dutch list the British nationality has been omitted, leaving only the Dutch. In addition, the German list gives the number of kilometers on the milestone close to which the deceased were buried on April 14. This detail is missing in the Dutch list.
15) See Appendix 4 (Horstmann's letter of 20/7/2010).
16) See Appendix 14. See also Appendix 3 (Horstmann's letter of 24/6/2010).
17) The information about their deaths during the air raid is taken from the list of those who died in the Hungarian train, which was prepared by Mr. Horstmann at our request (see Appendix 15).
18) See Abel J. Herzberg, Between Two Streams, London 1997, p. 214.
19) Horstmann's list includes the name of Ignac Toth (Todt). He died in the Lost Train and not in the Hungarian train, but is included here because he was imprisoned in the Hungarian camp in Bergen-Belsen.
20) See Appendix 16 for the three documents.
21) This seems to be a typing mistake and should be hut 574 which is mentioned in the police report of 8/4. As to the location of hut 574, see below next to note 33.
22) Lüneburger Post, 9/10/1945. Quoted from page 5 of Zabel's report (Appendix 8). Zabel was only aware of the newspaper report, and did not know of the police report brought above.
23) This refers to the prisoners of the Neuengamme camp.
24) This refers to the 6 rows in the Tiergarten Cemetery where the dead from the Neuengamme camp were buried. Now a seventh row was prepared.
25) The number 20 seems exaggerated and is not supported in any of the additional documents, detailed below, pertaining to the burial of the bodies.
26) See Appendix 17. This page is marked as page 11. We do not have a photocopy of page 12, where the body of no. 256 is obviously listed. However, the description of that body exists in the table from 1951 (see below), from where one can conclude that there were no marks identifying it as a Jewish body.
27) We have a separate list of those 244 victims which was drawn up in Lüneburg at the beginning of October, 1945. The original list can be found at the International Tracing Service (ITS), file 7382. See http://www.its-arolsen.org/en/archives/inventory_search/show_result/index.html?no_cache=1&ushmm_iid=1-10832
28) There is some doubt as to whether it is the body of a man or a woman. See below.
29) See sketch of Tiergarten Cemetery in Appendix 5.
30) The use of coffins is mentioned in Mr. Grzenia's letter of April 9 (Appendix 18), and in de Vries, Kriegsverbrechen in Lüneburg, p. 47.
31) In the 1951 table (see below) it states that it is not certain that body no. 252 is of a woman. In the two lists from 1945 – the police report and the cemetery register – it is clearly listed as that of a woman.
32) Public Record Office, London: file WO 235/229, p. 220, quoted according to the summary of Pastor Zabel's investigation (Appendix 8), p.2.
33) See Appendix 22 (Dr. Susanne Kill's letter and the map attached).
34) It is very likely that the bodies of those who were not buried were left at different places along the tracks, and not in one place. They cannot therefore be treated as one group. This is what happened, for example, to the body of Isaac Cohen (no. 29 in Weiss' list). His widow, Mrs. Alice Oppenheim, clearly remembers that at one of the stops of the Lost Train only Isaac's body was taken out.
35) We made every effort to try and locate Rachel Vogel-Simons' children, but without success. As far as we know, her husband died before the Holocaust; her son perished during the war; and her daughter, Rosette, survived and married Samuel Schatz. Samuel Schatz died in the year 2000, and Rosette Schatz-Vogel died in Amsterdam in 2004. A daughter survived them but we do not know her name (the name of the daughter and her address are known to the municipality of Rotterdam but they are not allowed to give us this information).
36) We are not referring here to body no. 256 which has no Jewish identity marks.
37) The description of body no. 251 states that the upper and lower jaws were without teeth and that there was some distortion of the spine – facts that her children do not remember. It also says that a label of the Perla company was found on her clothes and that she had a box of medication with her. This information hints to the fact that the deceased had only been a short time in the camps as her clothes were still in relatively good condition. Our mother/grandmother was in Westerbork and Bergen-Belsen for 21 months from 12/7/43. In the description of body no. 252 it states that the upper jaw was toothless, whereas in the 1945 police report we read that only 4 teeth were missing!
Holocaust Museum, Washington: library and Holocaust Survivors and Victims Resource Center