Eliyahu Gimmon

Haifa, Israel, 2012

My name is Eli Gimmon and I’m the son of the late Gershon Gimmon, Goldschmidt. All of us, we changed the name from Goldschmidt to Gimmon, which is a Hebrew name, in the year 1972. My late father was born in the year 1909 in Marburg and he had to leave Germany, in the year 1934 he immigrated from Marburg to Israel. And then after  several years he got married and I was born, I’m the third born in the year 1951. And I visited Marburg once. It was one of the events organised by the Christian-Jewish Community and that was in the summer of 2001.

What did your father tell you about Marburg?

Not too much, because it was many years ago, and also if he did, I’m not sure I can memorize it. What I know, that my grandfather used to have a shoe store in downtown  Marburg. But I’m afraid I can not tell you much more than that, because so many years which had passed.

My father, I guess, could not see any future for him in the year ’34, that’s why he left. I think that originally he planned, I guess, like to follow his father in the store, in the shoe store business. But it did not come to that point. He did not use to discuss it with me. So I don’t know what used to be his thoughts at that time. I guess that in these … in more recent years I would have discussed it with him. But I did not come to the point that I was, let’s say, mature enough to try to investigate these consequences with him.

Do you feel connected to Marburg?

Yes I do, I mean, because I know my roots are in Marburg. I do feel connected. But I don’t know the details.

My grandparents left Germany in the year 1938, my father, who was by then married, helped his old parents to emigrate. And also his sister left to England at that time. And he used to have a brother, who passed away from tuberculosis in, I think in the late 20s. So, no more family that I know left over, so to that extent the holocaust does not connect me specifically, because none of my ancestors used to live in Germany after ’38, as far as I know.