“[…] especially now I have had to live my life alone for the last year and a half, since mummy and aunt have gone away.”

Walter Lichtheim to Harry Goldstein

Walter Lichtheim to Harry Goldstein front side

On 25th October, 1941

, the Hamburg Gestapo deported Walter Lichtheim, then 22 years old, together with his mother and aunt to the Litzmannstadt Ghetto. There he had to do forced labour in a locksmith factory. His mother and aunt were murdered in the Kulmhof extermination camp in fall 1942. From then on, Walter was alone. He wrote a postcard about this and sent it to Hamburg. It is his last known sign of life. Three weeks after the card was sent, the SS deported him to the Kulmhof extermination camp.

Walter Lichtheim grew up with his parents and brother in Hamburg-Altona. He was considered a talented violinist. From 1938, Jewish children were no longer allowed to attend state schools and Walter began training as a merchant. His family’s attempt to organise a life-saving emigration failed. Only his younger brother Ludwig managed to take a  Kindertransport to England and survived.

Walter Lichtheim to Harry Goldstein reverse side

Postcard transcription:


Walter Lichtheim
Hohensteinerstr. 43/[…].45

Mr. Harry Goldstein
Hamburg 13
Bogenstr. 25 I

Dear Uncle Harry!

I am glad to be able to finally be able to write to you and tell you that I am in good health and also work as before.. The time is passing so quickly, especially now that I have had to live my life alone for 1 1/2 years now that mummy and aunt have gone away. Please, let me hear from you soon, if possible, your dear wife, all friends and yourself warm greetings from your Walter

Litzmannstadt, 16 May 1944

*For the benefit of readability, amendments were made in transcription

Further research options:

Stolperstein-Initiative: https://www.stolpersteine-hamburg.de