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Arrived in Britain:
Place of Birth:
Chava Fachler was born Eva Becker in Frankfurt am Main in 1922. Her mother was from Silesia and her father from Lithuania. Her paternal grandfather was a Rabbi and an uncle to the Ponovitch Rov. He had emigrated to South Africa before WWI with the intention of bringing over his wife and 6 children. He took out South African citizenship but never returned after returning to Lithuania. Instead the family moved to Germany, where his married children looked after their parents. In the early 1930s four children moved to Palestine and brought their parents over after them. Eva’s father did not go. Eva’s maternal grandfather was a silversmith, who would sell on the markets. He died young leaving a wife and 4 children; 2 others had died. Eva’s mother was fostered out but eventually came back to live with her mother, who had opened a Pension and that is where she met her husband, Samuel. They met and married in 1918 after Samuel had been released from internment as an enemy alien (South African).
Samuel had a store selling ladies underwear and they lived in a house in a very fashionable street, Habsburger Allee in Frankfurt, with maids. However, the business suffered with inflation and was closed and her father travelled selling his stock. They had 2 girls, Eva and Marion born 1926. Eventually her father helped his brother David in a rubber factory and her mother went out to work as a secretary in a very large firm. She also helped in the mikveh and cooked for the poor. A non-Jewish girl, Anna Lotus, looked after the children. At 3, Eva went to kindergarten and then attended Samson Raphael Hirsch School and had a wonderful education. In 1932 they moved to the Sachsenhausen district on the other side of the river, where they had a second floor flat. They attended the Breuer Shule and Eva belonged to the Ezra Noa Agudati, led by Adele Rosenheim. She never suffered any hostility in Frankfurt. The neighbours were friendly and looked out for them. After Germany invaded Czechoslovakia, her father decided the family should leave. The packed their silver etc in a crate to be sent and they took one case each as if they were going on a holiday to Holland, August 1938. They stayed there for a holiday and then travelled onto England by boat. They took the train to London and came out at Liverpool Street Station.
I compare myself sometimes to others who have had similar experiences. I must have been given by God a very good nature. I don’t get panicky; I don’t get scared. When we came to London, the bombs - I didn’t even hear them. My mother had to wake me up during the Blitz.