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Eva Shapira

1/15
Arrived in Britain:
Place of Birth:
Born:
Spring 1939
Mother organised emigration, Opa Buxi emigrated first
Mode of Arrival:

Eva was born in 1930 in Nuremberg. Her parents were Tilde Neuburger and Sigmung Buxbaum. Both her grandparents owned shoe factories. She loved Bamberg and was very close to her father and grandmother. She was a sickly child and was sent to Davos to a Children’s home. For a very short time she went to the ‘Judenschule’ in the Bamberg synagogue.  She recalls some boys throwing stones at her. She also recalls that after listening to her parents talking about the Nazis, getting out of the car and spitting at a ‘Nazi’ baby, in the pram. Her father was very angry with her for endangering herself like that.  Eva has a very strong memory of Kristallnacht. She saw the synagogue burn and the Jewish GP who lived next to the synagogue, being severly beaten. From that moment she wanted to leave Germany so her parents sent her back to Davos. Her grand-parents said good-bye to her when the train passed Wuerzburg. That was the last time she saw them. After some months her mother came to Switzerland to take her to the UK. 


In the UK her parents divorced and her father was granted custody. Eva was sent to a Convent school near Rugby. Shen then moved with her father to Blackburn, where she went to Blackburn High Grammar school. After finishing school, she attended the Gloucester Domestic Science College and became a teacher of Domestic Science. She had wanted to study history but the parents disapproved. After the war her father was asked to represent the British Shoe association, but because he did not have enough money he could not take up the position. He felt that he had to go back to Germany where he reclaimed and sold the shoe factory and worked for many years in the shoe business in Frankfurt. 

In the early fifties, Eva married Ronnie Loble, who also had come from Bamberg. He was an Electrical Engineer and worked with his brother in the electrical business (which they had transplanted from Germany). They had two children and the marriage lasted for 12 years, as Ronni suffered from MS and passed away aged 42. Eva married again, Kurt Shapira, a neurologist (refugee from Vienna) who had treated her husband and they had one more child. Eva feels at home in Newcastle and does not want to move to London, where two of her children live. She has returned often to Germany (to visit her father) but feels British. While Judaism is important to her, she feels it is important to understand other religions and other point of views.  

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@ Refugee Voices 2019