In mid-October, an evening of remembrance was held in the Literaturhaus Wien. Under the heading of “From Grünfeld to Grenville”, the history of the Viennese Grünfeld family was recalled – in the presence of family member and exile researcher Anthony Grenville.
With the support of the Jewish Welcome Service, Anthony Grenville visited Vienna with his family with the primary aim of accomplishing two “tasks”: He attended the unveiling of a memorial stone for his grandparents, who were murdered by the Nazis. And he also shared his family history.
This began in 1885, when 16-year-old Bernhard Grünfeld joined the smoking paraphernalia company Lichtblau in Vienna’s sixth district. In 1898, he married Flora, the daughter of company owner Adolf Lichtblau, and was promoted to the position of partner. In 1922, the company relocated to Vienna’s seventh district.
Following their assumption of power, the Nazis “Aryanized” the company and deported and murdered Bernhard and Flora. Their children Edith and Arthur were able to flee to England. After the war, the company was restituted, but the family remained in England and changed their name to Grenville.
The history of exile of his own family
Arthur’s son Anthony Grenville studied German Studies and later became an exile scholar and chairman of the Research Centre for German and Austrian Exile Studies (University of London). At the evening event in the Literaturhaus, he recounted his own family’s history of exile.
In 2010, Grenville donated documents on the family and company history to the Austrian Exile Library (ÖEB). ÖEB director Veronika Zwerger held a richly illustrated talk on these archives.
Daliah Hindler from the Stones of Remembrance Association spoke about her work and the memorial stones for Anthony Grenville’s grandparents in the historical center of Vienna (1st district, Hohenstaufengasse 7). The event was also attended by Susanne Trauneck, Secretary General of the Jewish Welcome Service Vienna, and Anna Babka, chairperson of the Neubau District Cultural Committee.