Monday, April 19, 2010

A Tangible Legacy

Following the enactment of the Nuremberg Race Laws, Heinz Samson was expelled from school at the age of 15, thereby preventing him from completing his studies. In 1939, Heinz, now 19, left his family home in Norden, Germany. With only ten Riechsmarks in his pocket, he made his way to London, where he waited for his family to join him. Sadly, they never arrived. Before leaving home, his parents Heinrich and Paula gave Heinz two treasured mementos: an intricately designed signet ring from his father and a silver pendant in the shape of a book from his mother. These were to be the final tangible legacy Heinz received from his parents.

Heinz's parents were deported to Minsk November 10, 1942 never to return. His sister Gerda was deported to Auschwitz on October 24, 1942.
After intensive efforts over many years, Heinz successfully recovered a few of the family's personal possessions confiscated from their home in January 1939 by the German authorities. In 2009, Heinz gave several of these objects to Yad Vashem for safekeeping, including the sentimental parting gifts he received from his beloved parents.

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