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Eva Figes

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Arrived in Britain:
Place of Birth:
Born:
Month March 1939
via Amsterdam; British visa
Mode of Arrival:

Eva Figes (nee Ungert) was born in Berlin 1932. Her father had a franchise of a British textile firm. The family had a week-end house in Pichelsdorf where she spent many holidays. She grew up in a very assimilated household and did not know what Jewish meant until she came to England. She went to the Goldschmidtschule. Her father was arrested on Kristallnacht and sent to Dachau. In March 1939 Eva, her brother and her parents flew to Holland and from there they took the boat to Britain. They settled in London and Eva describes the difficulties she faced as a refugee school girl. The father volunteered for the Pioneer Corps and was stationed in Cirencester. In September 1940 Eva and her mother also went to Cirencester as evacuees. In 1941 she moved back to London. She studied English at Queen Mary College, London University against the wishes of her parents and then became engaged. She had two children. Her first book was published in 1966 and she started working in publishing and translating. She has written many novels and feminist non-fictions books. Both her children have also become writers (Orlando Figes and Kate Figes). 

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@ Refugee Voices 2019