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Ingrid Heichelheim

Arrived in Britain:
Place of Birth:
Born:
29 May 1936
Domestic permit
Mode of Arrival:

Ingrid Heichelheim was born Ingrid Markowitz in Breslau in 1919 into very musical and extremely assimilated Jewish family. She came to Britain in 1936 as an au pair, and took singing lessons at the Royal College of Music. On a visit to Germany she attempted to persuade her parents to leave, which they only did (with younger brother) after her father had spent three weeks in Buchenwald after the November Pogrom (Kristallnacht). She had a successful career as a concert and opera singer.

My father was let out of Buchenwald, I believe after three weeks. I have never been told by my father what actually happened in Buchenwald. I know he left Germany on the last night of 1938 on a stretcher being taken by his brother to his great friend in Sweden. My mother, it seems, then wound up things in Germany, gave up the flat. I believe they put everything in packages or something, and something was stored in Germany. I equally know that my brother was put on a Kindertransport in Berlin. My mother must have brought him to Berlin. And he came to England, to Dovercourt. I was at the time living in Willesden and I went to see him. I must have had enough money to go to Harwich and I visited him in Dovercourt camp.

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@ Refugee Voices 2019