Germans live uncomfortably with the houses once owned by Jewish families
In Germany, old homes are preserved and handed down from generation to generation. After the Holocaust, homes that belonged to Jewish families in Germany were abandoned or torn down. For decades, no one wanted to live in them and face what had happened to these families.
Nazis stole my mother’s home in Stockstadt am Rhein, which had been in the family for over 200 years. I tell part of this story in MOTHERLAND.
In a town near my mother’s German home, Büttelborn, a woman became distraught when she discovered that she was renting the former home of a Jewish family. After the son of the original owners came from Israel to visit his old home, the current resident said, “I feel like a thief.”
This article in the Jerusalem Post describes how a family that now lives in the former home of a Jewish family in Stralsund faced history. The current residents devoted the past eight years to tracing the family history and locating and reuniting more than 30 descendants from Germany, the Netherlands, Israel, the United Kingdom, the United States and Brazil — an interesting way to atone.