Not so long ago I accidentally came across a recollection article dedicated to Eva Jungmann-Reichmann, distinguished historian and
sociologist, specialist in Jewish-German relations.
Eva Jungmann came to this world on January 16, 1897 in Lubliniec, as a daughter of a lawyer and public notary Adolph Jungmann and his
wife Agnes. She had two siblings: brother Otto, future appreciated lawyer in Opole, and a four years older sister Elisabeth, who was
to become Gerhart Hauptmann’s personal secretary.
Grandfather of the future scientist Loebel Jungmann was a respected teacher and dealt with ritual circumcisions in Jewish community of
Opole. In the year 1916 Eva passed her maturity exam outstandingly in a female gymnasium in Legnica (scrupulous daily
informed, that a young graduate was released from passing the verbal exams). After graduation Eva Jungmann left for studying in Wroclaw,
and later continued her studies in Munich and Berlin. She received her doctor’s diploma at University of Heidelberg. After the
doctorate she was offered a full-time post at the university, and she also started working for the Central Union of German Citizens of
Judaic Faith. In autumn 1929 she got married to a lawyer, Dr Hans Reichmann, with whom she lived in a happy relationship together for
In 1939 Reichmanns emigrated from Germany to England. Here, to earn for a deserved existence, Eva Jungmann-Reichmann takes up a job at BBC.
In 1945, after six years of staying in England she successfully gained another doctorate at the London School of Economic, which is believed
to be the most important in her scientific career.
After the World War II finished, Eva Reichmann begins working at the Wiener Library in London and in the Institute for Jewish Affairs. She
is also one of the founders and long standing cooperative person of Leo Baeck Institute in New York.
At that time Reichmanns lived in a house in Hampshire, where very often serious scientific symposia and disputes took place. The Reichmann’s
house was also very well-known for its marvelous cuisine, but most of all for amazing wines - Eva Reichmann was commonly
considered to be a wine expert and connoisseur. In 1974 Eva Reichmann publishes a book, which confirms the author’s brand as a
prominent expert in Jewish-German relations. In the early 80. old age scientist received several prestigious distinctions and prizes,
among others Moses Mendelssohn Preis in 1982, Grosse Bundesverdienstkreuz in 1983 and Buber Rosenzweig Medaille.
Eva Jungmann-Reichmann continued her research work until late in old age, ignoring heroically her physical weaknesses. She died in September
1998 in a beautiful age of 101. Along with her passing away gone in the past was also a German-speaking Jewish society, from which
originated Einstein, Kafka, Freud, Baeck and many, many others.
The article is the translation of the reprint of one of the series of articles under a common name ‘Walking down the old city - Opole’. Opole Newspaper (Gazeta w Opolu) no. 146, published in Opole 2000/06/24- 2000/06/25 (with Publisher's permission).
Translation: Marcin Poznan, Opole.