THE 20 CHILDREN
A list of the names of the children was compiled by former prisoners of war. This was published in the book “Rapport fra Neuengamme”, published in 1945. It also includes the name of a 12-year-old boy from Yugoslavia: “Junglieb”. Dr. Kurt Heißmeyer wrote the initials “W.J.” on the notebook containing examination data about this child. But nothing more could be discovered about the boy, “W.Junglieb”, for many years, apart from the fact that he was 12 and probably came from Yugoslavia. That was until 2015.
For 70 years, 85-year-old Grete Hamburg lived in the belief that her brother Walter died during a death march from Auschwitz. Grete Hamburg was a teenager when she survived the Shoa; today she lives near Tel Aviv. Less than 100 kilometres away in Haifa lives Bella Reichenbaum. She has been coming to the commemoration ceremony on 20 April in Hamburg for many years. After this year’s commemoration, Bella Reichenbaum returned home to Israel and set out to trace the previously unidentified boy, W. Junglieb.
On a list of names of prisoners in a transport from Auschwitz to Lippstadt she discovered, in addition to the names of some of her relations, two women with the name Jungleib. She was then able to contact the Jungleib family through the website of the Yad Vashem memorial. She found out that Walter Jungleib (the correct spelling) was deported to Auschwitz from Hlohovec in Slovakia. His identification is based on the similarity of the name, his age, and the fact that the name of his mother is included with the other mothers of the “20 children” on the deportation list for Lippstadt.
Grete Hamburg wrote to the Neuengamme Concentration Camp memorial in July 2015:
“I was and still am so distressed and stunned – I can hardly describe my feelings. […] My father, my mother, Walter and I were deported to Auschwitz in October 1944. The men and children were separated from us. Walter had forgotten his cap and came back to fetch it, so that he was the last in the line. He turned and waved and smiled. And that was the last time that my mother and I saw Walter.”
A road in Hamburg-Burgwedel was named after Walter in 1995.