History GCSE: Manfred Goldberg confronts the death of his brother

Aged 13, Manfred Goldberg was transported to Preču concentration camp with his mother and younger brother Herman.

One day, whilst Manfred and his mother worked, Herman disappeared. They never saw him again.

For over 70 years Manfred has held a small hope that somehow, Herman survived and that one day they might be reunited

Manfred has been persuaded to return to Germany for the first time since the war for the installation of memorial ‘stumbling’ stones, or Stolpersteine, outside his family home in Kassel. The stones, laid across Europe, mark the last address of choice of the victims of the Nazi persecution - over 70,000 have been laid to date.

It is the first time that Herman’s death will be publicly acknowledged and means that at last, Manfred will recite El Maleh Rachamim for him - the Jewish prayer traditionally cited in memory of the dead.

Manfred survived several concentration camps including Preču and Stutthof. Unusually, both of his parents also survived the Holocaust.

This clip is from the BBC series, The Last Survivors.

Due to the sensitive nature of the subject matter, we strongly advise teacher viewing before watching with your students.

Teacher Notes

Does it surprise you that Manfred has held on to hope all of these years, that somehow his brother survived?

The aim of the Stolpersteine is to make people stop and think of the many victims of the Nazis. Do you think they are effective? How do we best commemorate the victims of the Holocaust? What should be the aim of a memorial for victims of the Holocaust?

Should there be forgiveness for the crimes of the Holocaust?

How do we make peace with past traumas?

Manfred was interned at a labour camp when his brother disappeared. Use his experience as a way to look at the different ways that the Nazis used concentration camps and slave labour.

Curriculum Notes

This short film will be relevant for teaching history at GCSE and above in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and National 4/5 and above in Scotland.

More from The Last Survivors

Frank Bright recounts the fate of his former classmates
Anita Lasker-Wallfisch addresses German Parliament
Maurice Blik confronts the impact of his experiences
Ivor Perl returns to Auschwitz with his daughter
Sam Dresner grapples with his memories of the Holocaust