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Natalie Huss-Smickler

Arrived in Britain:
Place of Birth:
22 September 1938

Interview Summary:

Natalie Huss-Smickler was born in Vienna in 1912. Her father had a textile shop. She went to a commercial college and worked as a secretary. Her brother managed to get a domestic visa for her in 1938 and visa for her other brother. On her journey leaving Germany she was saved by a group of nuns who told her not to leave the train. All the other Jews on the train were taken off. Her employers then arranged a visa for her parents.


She first worked for a Jewish doctor at his house in Kensington, where she worked very hard. She left and became a nanny with another family, who helped to get her parents out. Her two brothers were interned and sent to Australia on the HMT Dunera. Both brothers died on the way back to the UK as their ship was torpedoed by the Japanese. She was married in 1948.

I always did feel an outsider, being a refugee. But thank God, I have always been independent; I didn’t have to go to a charity or things like that. People should really try to get on with one another. Life is really too short to be otherwise. One should try to get on with one another, and be kind, and be good.


@ AJR Refugee Voices 2020

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