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Willy Field

Arrived in Britain:
Place of Birth:
Born:
Late April 1939
Mode of Arrival:
Agricultural permit

Interview Summary:

Willy Field, born Willy Hirschfeld, was born in 1920 in Bonn. He went to the city Gynmasium until 1934, and then to a Jewish school. He worked in a metal factory in Siegburg. He was arrested on 10 November 1938 at the factory and taken prisoner in Cologne and then to Dachau. He was released from Dachau in April 1939 and came to the UK on an agricultural permit. He was interned and sent to Australia on the HMT Dunera. When he returned to the UK he joined the British army, fighting in D Day as part of the 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars.

My parents didn't know where I was for the first four weeks until my cousin, who worked at the same factory with me, told my mother that I was taken away by the Gestapo. But they didn't hear from me and they didn't know where I was until we were able to write a card that we are where we are, that we were being looked after very well and it was for our own protection. Clever thing!

The worst thing was knowing what happened in the concentration camp and being told not to talk to anybody. I didn't even tell my parents; I didn't tell my sister. I didn't tell anybody what is happening in the concentration camp because you had to sign a pledge that if you ever talked about it you would be back, and you wouldn't be released any more.

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@ Refugee Voices 2020

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