Hans Günther Grünewald

21 Years

Hans Günther Grünewald was born on 28 December 1919 in Düsseldorf. His mother Erna Brunhilde Frank was also born in Düsseldorf on 6 March 1886; his father Heinrich came into the world in Belecke im Kreis Arnsberg, a village 135 km east of Düsseldorf. Heinrich served in the German army in World War I as a front soldier. He is awarded the Cross of Honour II after the war. 

Heinrich and Erna married on 5 March 1919 and at the end of the same year Hans Günther, their only child, was born. His father was a merchant and a member of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce. He died on 26 February 1931 at the age of 43. His mother was rounded up during a raid on 10 November 1941 and deported to the Minsk ghetto. There she was killed after a few weeks. 

The Grünewald family initially lived on Grafenberger Allee. After father Heinrich died, Hans Günther and his mother moved to Karl-Anton Strasse 11, the house of grandmother Frieda Frank. His uncle Kurt Frank, by now the owner of the house on Karl-Anton Strasse, also came to live there from 25 March 1935 with his non-Jewish wife.

Hans Günther left for “Das Judische Schulheim Herrlingen” at the age of 14 on 29 April 1935. This house had a Zionist foundation and prepared children and young people for possible emigration to Palestine. On 1 October 1935, Hans Günther returned to Düsseldorf.

In August 1938, Hans Günther began his hachshara training at Gut Winkel near Spreenhagen in Brandenburg. Located 40 kilometres east of Berlin, this centre accommodated about 100 students.  This hachshara establishment was also raided during Kristallnacht on 9 November 1938. Whether he could stay there until the summer of 1939 is unclear; what is certain is that he would then leave for the Netherlands.

He continues his education in the Werkdorp, working there as a gardener. After the eviction of the Werkdorp on 20 March 1941, he is taken in by the Isay foster family, from Cologne, on Schubertstraat in Amsterdam. They are acquaintances of the Frank family.   

Hans Günther belongs to the June group, the 57 Werkdorpers who were rounded up in the 2nd major raid in Amsterdam on 11 June 1941 and deported to Mauthausen via Schoorl camp in a group of 300 Jews. There, they have to perform forced labour in stone quarries and/or are subjected to medical experiments. Within three months of arrival, Hans Günther was murdered there on 17 September 1941.



Son of

  • Erna Brunhilde  Grünewald-Frank * 06-03-1886 in Düsseldorf † nach 01-01-1942 in Minsk and
  • Heinrich Grünewald * 1886 in Belecke im Kreis Arnsberg † 26-02-1931 in Düsseldorf

Last address

Dusseldorf, Karl Antonstrasse 11 and Gut-Winkel Spreenhagen

Last known residences in The Netherlands

  • 14-07-1939
    Werkdorp Wieringen, Nieuwesluizerweg 42, Slootdorp (Wieringen)
  • 20-03-1941
    After the eviction of the Werkdorp deported to Amsterdam
  • 27-03-1941
    Amsterdam, Schubertstraat 66-hs (fam. Isay)
  • 11-06-1941
    Arrested at he second raid in Amsterdam and deported to Durchgangslager Schoorl
  • 22-06-1941
    Deported to Mauthausen