Aunt Lotte

In 1938 with the situation deteriorating for Jewish people in Europe, my aunt Lotte was sent by her family from what was then Czechoslovakia to study as a nurse at Booth Hall Children’s Hospital in Manchester. She was seventeen and came here on her own. She lived in a nurses home. She had only been in Britain a few months when she found out that her brother (my father) was in the Sachsenhausen-Oranienburg concentration camp.

She went and knocked on doors in Manchester to find someone who would agree to sponsor him so that she could get him out. She managed to find someone to be to be a “guarantor” for her brother, and in my father’s words, “got me a visa and saved my life”. Her father (my grandfather) unfortunately died in a concentration camp.

Later when Britain entered the war, suspicion fell on immigrants and she was forced to leave her job and interrupt her training. She became a children’s nanny for a time. Eventually she was allowed to work again and she became a nurse for the NHS and then a psychiatric social worker. She later migrated to Canada and in the end became a professor of social work at McGill University.

— Nick Fox