With parents, helped by mother’s brother
Benno Stern was born in 1935 in Essen, where his parents owned a wholesale business with material for men suits. His parents had come from Poland to Germany and were stateless. They lived in the Hachestrasse, near the main railway station. Benno does only remember fragments from Essen. They lived a very observant Jewish live. He does remember vaguely his journey to the UK, where he was one of the few people who did not get ill on the boat. His mother had an uncle in Ealing who had arranged the family’s emigration. He travelled with his father and older sister to the UK, while his mother travelled one week later. The SS came looking for his father and threatened to arrest his mother. The family settled in Ealing and Benno started going to a local primary school. Benno stayed throughout the war in London, while his sister was evacuated. Due to a raptured appendix, he almost spent a year in hospital in 1943. His parents opened the Parisian Dressmaking Company in London while he studied to become a dentist. He married in 1958, settled in Northwood and had two children. He had his own dental practice in Hayes for more than 40 years. He has visited his former home in Essen and now lives in Bushey Heath with his wife.