Excerpt from "GEPPO - DER STADTBOTE" -Edition 11, Volume 5 – Wednesday, March 15, 2000

Treasures form the Göppingen Museum

A Prayer Book as a Reminder of the Holocaust

The small book, lying before the background of the dimly shown entrance door of the annihilation camp Auschwitz at the end of the museum tour, could be an entirely everyday, trivial object. The book should not have seemed to present anything special-- until it was formally "loaded up" with history: the book today is a very personal piece that commemorates the Holocaust.

The magnitude of these crimes is not easily put into pictures, and the Jewish Museum presents therefore a Jewish prayerbook and its history— recorded in a message, a machine-typed message— directly in the middle. This message was written in 1960 to support remembering the holocaust and was given to the city museum with this function in mind.

If the museum visitor could open the one-volume book, then the name of the former owner, "Inge Banemann," would be read on the inside cover. Inge Banemann’s prayer book was taken away from her during the so-called "Kristallnacht" (the night of breaking glass), during which the Göppingen Synagogue was destroyed and the businesses and homes of Jews demolished. The Banemann Family, who lived near the synagogue, had to experience this. From their home, which was partly destroyed, stems the prayer book before it found its way through lucky circumstances into the hands of an acquaintance, who took responsibility for the book and would preserve it for its future return. The Banemann Family— the parents Hedwig and Stephan, the children Inge and Erich, were forced to leave Göppingen in November during the first wave of deportations. They were sent to a concentration camp in Riga, to KZ Riga, where the traces of all four persons were lost.

The history written in the "found piece" ends with these sentences written in 1960: "I hid it (the prayer book) in my air raid protection pack for all this years, hoping that Inge would one day come back and I could return her children’s prayer book. She did not come back, as none of the Banemanns did. I asked about her here and there, but every time could only get the answer, that the children and parents were killed."

Archiv und Museen: Dr. Karl-Heinz Rueß

© Archiv und Museen der Stadt Göppingen