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Luneburg Remembered by Susan Rosenbaum-Greenberg

Luneburg Remembered by Susan Rosenbaum-Greenberg

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Book review

Luneburg Remembered is the story of what happens when Susan at 41 and the mother of two young children sets out to confront her family’s history in Germany. The story of Luneburg Remembered begins in 1995 when the town of Luneburg, Germany invites its Jewish former citizens back for a reunion entitled Shalom in Luneburg (Peace in Luneburg). Susan encouraged her parents to make the extremely difficult decision to return to Germany. Her parents, Edith, born in Luneburg and Werner, born in Hamburg, courageously, albeit with great trepidation, accepted the invitation to return to their ancestral homes and reflect upon the years they lived for many formative years as Jews among Nazis. Believing that her family's existence along with its long history in Germany had been gladly extinguished, Susan set out to experience her family's former life in Germany through the eyes and memories of her parents. Anxious to understand and research the past, Susan decided to video record the reunion as a family legacy and to hopefully, one day, be able to fully explain to her young children why they are Americans. But during that one emotional week in 1995, Susan and her parents were amazed to discover that the Schicklers of Luneburg were not only not forgotten, but their memory had been revived and enshrined by Luneburg's post-war generation. A generation that was taught about the tragedy of Germany’s defeat in war, but not until 30 years had passed did they collectively confront the horrific crimes of Germany’s Third Reich. Crimes that now haunt Germans and bring about a thirst for many to understand the vanquished culture of Germany’s Jews and find ways to make amends. Most Luneburgers had never met a Jew let alone those who were victimized in their own beloved city. Luneburg's politicians, clergy, teachers, students, and others who participated in “Shalom in Luneburg” owned up fully and unambiguously to Germany's Nazi past. They treated Susan's parents with great kindness, and supported Susan's quest to learn about her family as Germans in Germany. As a child Susan mostly heard stories of her family’s early days as immigrants. Amazingly, Luneburg had already memorialized the Schickler family, beginning with Susan's great grandparents Adolf and Hulda Schickler, in books, posters, school curriculums, newspaper articles, and plays. "Luneburg Remembered" details the 7-day Shalom in Luneburg reunion, stories of Susan’s family in Germany and the effect of Nazi culture on four generations of Susan’s family. The book details the complicated ordeal of emigration out of Germany, new beginnings in America, the vitality and diversity of the German Jewish immigrant enclave, how they persevered, and how their children, Susan’s generation, were raised between two cultures in turbulent post war America. Shalom in Luneburg was such a triumph of good will and had such a lingering positive effect on Susan and her parents that she believes the telling of how Luneburg Remembered them in 1995 could serve as an example of future possibilities in relations between Germans and Jews.

Susan Rosenbaum-Greenberg
Date of release


Luneburg Remembered

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