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70 years on…proof my parents died at Auschwitz

A HOLOCAUST evacuee has received proof that his parents were murdered at Auschwitz after a photograph of their battered suitcase was sent to him by a Polish tourist.

Harry Grenville and his sister Hannah were among 10,000 Jewish children sent to Britain from Nazi Germany as part of the Kindertransport refugee mission on the eve of the Second World War.

Their parents, Jacob and Klara Greilsamer, and grandmother, Sara Ottenheimer, were sent to an internment camp in Czechoslovakia.

Mr Grenville received brief correspondence from the Red Cross about his family until a chilling message in 1944 said they were being sent “east”.

He was 18 at the time and suspected this meant to a concentration camp in Poland. He never heard from them again.

Mr Grenville, 87, born Heinz Greilsamer, had confirmation of their deaths at the end of the war. But for nearly 70 years he has been haunted by not knowing when or where they died.

Now Mr Grenville, of Dorchester, Dorset, has been sent a picture of the suitcase which for years was an exhibit at the Auschwitz Museum.

It clearly shows the name Jacob Greilsamer.

It was taken by a Polish visitor who researched the name and got in touch with Mr Grenville through a history society near his former home of Ludwigsburg, near Stuttgart.

Last night Mr Grenville, said: “Out of the blue a photograph turned up of a whole lot of suitcases of victims.

“They have the names of the victims painted on them and low and behold, there on this photograph is my father’s name. My heart missed several beats when I saw it for the first time. This is the first evidence I have ever had that my mother, my father and my grandmother arrived at Auschwitz.

“I have carried suspicions with me for a long time and now I have this evidence.”

Mr Grenville and his sister, now 83, lived with a foster family in Cornwall. He volunteered to join the British Army and then worked as a biology teacher, marrying his late wife Helen in 1950.

He has three children and two grandchildren. He said: “There will never be closure but I take a great deal of comfort from the fact that the second and third generations after the Nazis are trying to bring about reconciliation and a confession of the sins of their forefathers.”

via At last, after 70 years…proof my parents died at Auschwitz | UK | Express.co.uk – Home of the Daily and Sunday Express.

January 25, 2013 - Posted by | Auschwitz | , ,

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