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 Vilma <I>Eisenstein</I> Grünwald

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Vilma Eisenstein Grünwald

Birth
Czech Republic
Death 11 Jul 1944 (aged 39)
Oświęcim, Małopolskie, Poland
Burial Oświęcim, Powiat oświęcimski, Małopolskie, Poland
Memorial ID 189365557 View Source
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Vilma is the daughter of Otto Eisenstein and Mathilde Herz. She was married to Dr Kurt Grünwald and the mother of John, born about 1928 and Misa (Frank), born about 1933.

The family's property was seized on 13 July 1942 and the family was taken to the Theresienstadt Ghetto, Terezin where they lived in horrible conditions along with up to 80,000 other Jewish families from all over Europe. The Grunwald family was sent to the Auschwitz death camp on 15 December 1943. Kurt was a physician in a medical camp.

According to Frank [Misa], the family was originally placed in a Czech family camp together and Vilma and their two sons were still in this camp when the were put through a selection process. He said that Dr. Joseph Mengele (the man in charge) noticed that his older brother had a limp, so he was directed to a separate group of young children. Those children were destined for the gas chamber. Vilma could not stand her young son going alone so she went with him. Before they were sent into the gas chambers she was able to write a letter to her husband, which she handed off to an elderly German guard. He was able to find Kurt and pass the letter along to him.

This conflicts with an account given by Kurt Grünwald, who said, "On July the 10th and 11th all women with their children, all old, and [the] rich were gassed and burned. Among them also my young and healthy wife Vilma, my son John and my son Michael [Misa]; who was a good looking little fellow with fair hair and blue eyes, [and] as the German like it [Misa] had been spared and taken to another camp.

According to Frank's [Misa's] lecture series, he was pulled out of the line leading to the gas chamber and placed with older children to work sorting the clothes of new arrivals. He said that he also survived a death march and four other concentration camps before they were liberated by US troops in May 1945.

The letter from Vilma to Kurt is now on display in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and it is thought to be the only surviving letter of it's kind.

Note - here is a link to the full report given by Kurt Grünwald:

https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn49144#?c=0&m=0&s=0&cv=0&xywh=-30%2C-1%2C981%2C1200


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  • Created by: AW
  • Added: 1 May 2018
  • Find a Grave Memorial 189365557
  • Find a Grave, database and images (www.findagrave.com/memorial/189365557/vilma-gr%C3%BCnwald : accessed ), memorial page for Vilma Eisenstein Grünwald (23 Nov 1904–11 Jul 1944), Find a Grave Memorial ID 189365557, citing Auschwitz Concentration Camp, Oświęcim, Powiat oświęcimski, Małopolskie, Poland ; Maintained by AW (contributor 47829810) .