Jackie Kohnstamm’s mother rarely talked about what had happened during the war and had kept little evidence of her early life. It was only after her uncle and aunt had died that Jackie inherited an archive of material relating to the family back in Germany. Jackie’s mother had managed to get out of Berlin in 1936, following her brother and sister who had already escaped. But Jackie’s grandparents had remained.
One night, on a whim, Jackie Googled her grandparents’ names. What she found felt like a sign: four days earlier two Stolpersteine (‘stumble stones’) had been laid in their names outside the house in Berlin where they had once lived. Someone had commissioned this memorial to her grandparents. Each listed their name, year of birth, date of deportation to Theresienstadt and date of their murder by the Nazis. Here, then, was the first step, and what followed was a remarkable story of loss, discovery and memory.