This reading room exhibit highlights five refugee stories and related archival material included on the Library’s new Refugee Map online resource.
Supported by funding from Arts Council England, the Refugee Map visually traces refugee journeys with documents from our collections, including handwritten diaries, photograph albums, identity and emigration papers, Red Cross letters and taped interviews. These documents on this digital resource reveal and preserve the stories of the individuals and families that fled Nazi antisemitism and persecution in the years before, during and after the Second World War.
To learn more, visit www.refugeemap.org
Annie Hoek-Wallach (née Wallach)
Annie Hoek-Wallach (née Wallach) was a German Jewish immigrant from Cologne who lived in the Netherlands from 1933. She trailed as a textile designer and found work with a textile company in Enschede, Netherlands.
Annie Hoek-Wallach created this book in March 1943 for her husband Dr Henri Hoek, a Dutch Jewish teacher, while they were in hiding in the Netherlands. Soon after, Henri was killed in Sobibor. Annie remained hidden in a house attic in Amsterdam and survived the war.
Amsterdam, with its lively business scene, will surely give [Annie] lots of orders.
This went well, and there were a lot of beautiful sights to see on a cosy walk through town with Henri.
Hannah Callman (née Hanna Levy)
Hanna Callmann lived with her husband, Dr Curt Callmann, in Berlin. They had two daughters, Ellen and Gerda, who were sent to England in 1939. Hanna and Curt tried to obtain visas as well.
In late August 1939, they received the message from the Home Office that they could collect their visa; however, when they subsequently called the British Embassy, they were informed that the offices were already closed. The following day the war began and all hopes of emigration were destroyed. They were deported to Theresienstadt in 1942.
Hanna Callmann survived the war, and she finally reunited with her daughters in London in October 1946.
Heinz Werner Löwenstein
Heinz Werner Löwenstein emigrated from Berlin to South Africa in 1935. His parents remained in Berlin.
In 1941, he joined the South African army and saw action in North Africa. In June 1941, he arrived to Egypt, then on to Palestine and the Western Desert. Unknown to Löwenstein, his parents disappeared after having been transported to Riga in January 1942.
Lizzi Grünwald was born in 1917 in Vienna to Jewish parents. In Austria, she worked as seamstress’s assistant and nanny. In May 1939, she arrived to England as a domestic servant.
In May 1940, Lizzi Grünwald was interned as an ‘enemy alien’ in Rushen Camp. After her release from internment, she searched for another domestic position. She found work as a factory hand and needleworker.
Siegfried ‘Sigi’ Grossbard
Siegfried ‘Sigi’ Grossbard was born in 1913 in Vienna, where his family ran a clothing factory. In June 1938, he was arrested and sent to Dachau; he was later transferred to Buchenwald concentration camp. Sigi Grossbard was released in early 1939 on the condition the family firm would be transferred into Nazi hands and Sigi would leave Germany immediately. He arrived in London via a transit visa in February 1939.
Sigi Grossbard was interned in 1940 as an ‘enemy alien’ by British authorities and sent on the HMT Dunera to Australia. He was released in May 1941 to help his ailing mother in London.