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Accession Number: NEKHC:2012.25.5

Object: Certificate of Morality; Doris Bermann

Physical Description: This Paper, black printed ink; blue stamped ink; black handwritten ink; red wax seal; two stamps affixed to page. One page contains a photograph. Some tearing and creasing. Complete.

Information: This document forms part of the Vera Price Collection. It is the Certificate of Morality issued to Vera's maternal grandmother Doris Bermann, necessary for her travel to the United Kingdom. 

Further Information

This  documents were donated by Vera Price. The first document is the official translation of the second document, which is a certificate of morality issued to Mrs Doris Bermann, Vera's maternal grandmother. The certificate is dated 24 August 1938, and details Doris’ maiden name, date of birth, and confirms that Doris has not committed a crime punishable by imprisonment, is not subject to political suspicions, and that she has never requested financial assistance. The original document contains a photograph of Doris affixed in the bottom left corner. The translation is stamped by the British Vice-Consulate in Katowice, Poland, 13 September 1938, and is confirmed as true to the original German language document.

Doris secured passage to England along with her one of her daughters, Alice, who was 14 years younger than Vera’s mother, Suse. As the family began to seek refuge from the Nazi persecution of Jewish people, Alice and Doris were already living in England by the time Vera’s immediate family had secured their passage out of Poland. The family were granted Australian visas, and in July 1939 Vera’s father left for England to arrange a stopover in England during the family’s travel to Australia. Two weeks after her father had left, Vera, her mother and sister joined him in London having flown to Britain. Some of their goods were already in the process of being shipped to Australia, however due to the outbreak of the Second World War the family are unable to continue their journey on to Australia.

The family all lived in one room in Maida Vale for about a year and shared a bathroom with other families including her grandmother and Aunt Alice. Vera’s father was very ill with heart trouble, but got to know a German refugee living in the area who made salamis, and another who made chocolates. Ursel and Alice got hold of bicycles and cycled around selling the sausages and chocolates.

They then moved to a house with Aunt Alice, and Vera’s grandmother. In 1941 Richard and Suse took over a small delicatessen in Finchley Road, helped by the rest of the family. Vera’s father did not recover his health, and died in 1942, aged 43. Ursel married an officer in the Polish Army and went on to run her own delicatessen in Willesden Green. Vera’s mother remarried in 1947 to a man who had himself come from Germany, and was now in the Pioneer Corps. Vera’s education remained important to her mother, and she went to an excellent grammar school before taking a modern languages secretarial course and later meeting her husband. Vera remembers spending a lot of time with her grandmother as a child, as her mother was a young widow and busy trying to run the family’s delicatessen to support her children.

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