Heinz Galinski

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File:Wohnhaus galinski.jpg
Galinski's residence in Berlin until his deportation in 1943

Heinz Galinski (28 November 1912 – 19 July 1992) was president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany (Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland) from 1988 until his death in 1992.

Early Life

Galinski was born in Marienburg (Malbork) in West Prussia. In 1943, he was deported to Auschwitz. After also spending time in the concentration camps Buchenwald and Bergen-Belsen he was liberated by British troops on 20 April 1945. Unlike many other Holocaust survivors, Galinski remained in Germany after the end of World War II.


From 1949 to 1992, he was chairman of the Jewish congregation of Berlin. In 1987, Galinski became an honorary citizen of this city. In 1988, he then succeeded Werner Nachmann as the head of the Central Council of Jews, the most important Jewish organization in Germany; he kept this position until his death in 1992 in Berlin.


Beginning in 1989, the Heinz-Galinski-Preis was awarded in his name. In 1995, the Heinz-Galinski Schule, a Jewish Elementary school in Berlin opened in his name.[1]

In September and November 1998, Galinski's grave was the victim of two bombings, which both completely destroyed his grave stone. The motivation behind these attacks was probably anti-Semitism, but the crimes have not been solved.[2]

Galinski's daughter Evelyn Hecht-Galinski is an outspoken critic of Israeli politics.

See also

Notes and references

  1. Website of the Heinz-Galinski Schule
  2. (German) Kleffner, Heike. "Die Marmorplatte zerriss wie Papier" in taz 19 July 2002. Retrieved 9 April 2006.
Preceded by
Werner Nachmann
President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany
Succeeded by
Ignatz Bubis