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Taddie Norton

Arrived in Britain:
Place of Birth:
August 1939
Interview number:


Dr Bea Lewkowicz

Date of Interview:

Interview Summary:

Emanuela Norton, known as Taddie, was born in Vienna in August 1925. After the Anschluss she had to leave school to attend a Jewish school. She recalls discrimination against Jews, including as her father having to scrub the street. He ran several Kaffeehäuser.

The family left Vienna in August 1938 for Prague where her mother had relatives. After a year in Prague, the family decided to put Taddie and her younger sister on a Kindertransport organised by Nicholas Winton. Her older sister was too old to qualify but was too young for a domestic visa. Taddie’s mother came on the same train as her two younger daughters, having acquired a domestic visa. When she later moved from Birmingham to London, she worked as a cook at the Cosmo restaurant.

Taddie felt lucky to be taken in by a friendly family in Birmingham but as she was fourteen, she left school and worked in the office of a laundry. Taddie joined the “Young Austria” youth group.

When Hitler advanced into Czechoslovakia, her older sister and father left from Prague for Budapest and from there to Yugoslavia where they joined the partisans. Captured by the Italian army, they were interned, then travelled to Israel where they were reunited with Taddie’s youngest sister in Kibbutz Lavi. Her father had a café in Haifa. Her parents got divorced.

Taddie met her husband Wilfried John Paul – born Paul Nussbaum in Vienna – in Borstal (near Birmingham). After they got married in 1946, Taddie did bookkeeping in Paul's company. They had one daughter.

Taddie thinks that she didn’t understand the impact of emigration at the time due to her youth. But later, seeing the family’s Red Cross letters, and learning that her grandmother had died in a camp, had a big impact. Seeing the news about the war in Ukraine takes her back to her childhood trauma and she feels for Ukrainian children.

Additional Comments:

Key words: Nussbaum. Weiss. Prague. Kindertransport Nicholas Winton. Birmingham. London. Cosmo. Young Austria. Actress Hanne Nussbaum, Hannah Norbert – Hannah Norbert – Miller. Laterndl. Israel. Partisans in Yugoslavia


Full Interview


I had a lot of friends. One very good friend who lived opposite me. She wasn’t Jewish and after Hitler came she was told she mustn’t see me anymore. In school I had other friends as well. They were Jewish most of them. When we went to the Judenschule, one day they came in from a paper called the Stürmer, and they pulled one girl out by the hair who looked very Jewish and photographed her. And one of them called out, ‘Aber wir sind doch Kinder.’ ‘We are children.’ He said, ‘Shut your mouth or I’ll take you too.’ These are the memories I’m trying not to remember.
It didn’t really mean much [visiting Vienna after the war]. It didn’t mean really much. What I liked was the theatre and it’s a beautiful town as you know probably, but I always thought what did you do during the War? You know, especially people my age sort of thing – no, people a bit older than me. When I looked at them, I thought, you know, what did you do? What did you do to my family? And that persisted for a long time. I know I couldn’t blame the new generation ‘cos they had nothing to do with it, but I would never want to live there again.

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