It all began with an e-mail to the Mayor’s office at the City Hall of Lüneburg which was forwarded to the History Workshop. Margaret McQuillan, granddaughter of the former merchant Leopold Less, was looking for contacts to students and teachers to inform them about the life story of her father Walter Less. Unfortunately, the positive response of the History Workshop disappeared in the vast space of the WorldWideWeb.
Later, in 2007, we received a note from a woman who used to live in Lüneburg during the Nazi period. She was in possession of a seven-armed candelabrum, a menorah, which originated from a Jewish household in Lüneburg. And it was her deeply felt obligation to return it to the family’s descendants. Could we help to find out about the family and their descendants?
Our research showed that this menorah belonged to the household of family Less. This time we used the approved „snail mail“ and got in contact with Margaret McQuillan. The menorah was received in the United States with great pleasure. One year later, in March 2009, Margaret McQuillan and her son Matthew visited us in Lüneburg, looking for traces of their family. They brought a copy of “An Orange in Winter”, a wonderful little story with authentic references to Lüneburg in the 1930s and to the vita of the family Less – without moralizing. The idea arose to publish this book as a school lecture and to provide interested schools in the city and the county of Lüneburg with copies.
It was a long way from the idea to the realization. This became possible because many people were engaged. We got financial support from the “Foundation of the Sparkasse Lüneburg” and from the “National Foundation of Lüneburg”. The History Workshop itself has invested a great deal of honorary time in concept and composition to complete the version of Margaret McQuillan’s story by adding specific Lüneburg aspects.
“Thank-you” to all who helped to establish a further mosaic to the understanding and remembrance of the Nazi times in Lüneburg.
History Workshop Lüneburg, Inc.