Holocaust survivor Bernard Grunberg buried near family tribute

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Image source, National Holocaust Memorial Centre
Image caption,
Mr Grunberg's last wish was to be buried next to his family's memorial stone in Lingen

A Holocaust survivor who died with Covid-19 has been buried near a tribute to his family in his German hometown.

Bernard Grunberg, whose parents, sister and cousin were killed by the Nazis, died days short of his 98th birthday in January.

He came to Britain aged 15 as part of the Kindertransport scheme in 1938, settling in Derby.

Covid travel restrictions meant his body could not be moved to Lingen, Germany, until this week.

Mr Grunberg often spoke at the National Holocaust Centre in Newark, Nottinghamshire, about his memories and the power of reconciliation.

Image source, National Holocaust Centre
Image caption,
Mr Grunberg's mother, father and sister died during World War Two

His funeral took place on Thursday morning where he was buried at a Jewish cemetery next to a memorial stone for his parents and sister.

"Obviously with Covid it has been quite difficult to arrange, and the Mayor's office in Lingen were trying, but they couldn't get a flight to get his body home," said Leonie Edgell from the centre.

"He was so proud to regard himself as British but he did say his final journey would be to Lingen and that was all he said.

"He hadn't spoken to me in detail about his wish but it was in his will and he had told friends in Germany he wanted the family to be together again."

Image source, National Holocaust Centre
Image caption,
Mr Grunberg arrived in Derby after leaving Germany on the Kindertransport in 1938

Mr Grunberg's links to Lingen were rekindled in 1986 and he returned each year on the town's invitation.

He has a street named after him and was made an honorary citizen in 1993, which the centre said "meant a great deal to him".

Ms Edgell accompanied him on two trips to the town.

"He often talked to me about his family life," she added.

"One story he shared was of how relieved he was to see his father one last time when he jumped on board the Kindertransport train at the next station.

"He told me how they were able to say one last goodbye and that story has stuck with me.

Image source, National Holocaust Centre
Image caption,
Ms Edgell joined Mr Grunberg on a visit to Lingen when a street was named after him

"He was determined that the more he told his stories the more good it would do.

"He was always talking about reconciliation, education and tolerance and hoped that even if people only took one thing away from his talks, then that might help prevent something like that happening again."

In a tribute, Lingen mayor Dieter Krone said Mr Grunberg "despite the immeasurable suffering that had happened to him, showed the citizens of Lingen great trust, understanding and gratitude".

"We are very grateful to Bernard for his admonishing and reconciling work for our city. With great respect we will keep the memory of him alive," he added.

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