Stine, Leefke und Markus
‘For us, this is a place to understand and to feel. For Grandad, it’s a place to grieve that’s associated with lots of emotions. Grandad, Dad, never had a place where he could be close to his mother and bid her farewell. We sense how, for him, the Lohsepark became a cemetery and the name plaque a personal gravestone for Irmgard and her husband Karl.’
Markus is the grandson, and Stine and Leefke, the great-granddaughters of Irmgard Posner. She was deported from Hannoverscher Bahnhof railway station to the Minsk ghetto on 8 November 1941. Markus’s father Michael was seven years old when his mother Irmgard and his stepfather Karl Posner were deported by the Hamburg Gestapo and murdered by the SS. Before they were taken away, Michael’s mother tried to protect him from deportation. With the help of a network of people, she managed to get him a place on the countryside relocation scheme for children.
For a long time, Michael was unable to talk to his family about the traumatic experiences of his childhood and the loss of his mother. Things only began to change once he had retired. In 2015, he donated to the archives of the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial a suitcase of letters from his mother dating from the time before her deportation. Stine, Leefke and Markus regularly visit the memorial site together with their grandfather and father to remember his mother and stepfather.