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Accession Number: NEKHC:2012.25.8

Object: Home Office Document; Alice Ehrlich

Physical Description: White paper; black printed ink; stamped ink; some creasing and tearing. Complete.

Information: This document forms part of the Vera Price Collection. It is the Home Office document ordering the return of Alice Ehrlich's passport after it had been endorsed. 

Further Information

This Home Office document was donated by Vera Price. The document is dated 6 July 1939, and directs the Under Secretary of State to return the passport of Alice Ehrlich, Vera’s maternal aunt, as her passport had been endorsed regarding residence in the United Kingdom. Alice was at that time prevented from being employed except as a domestic worker. Alice was 14 years younger than her sister, Vera’s mother Suse, and left with their mother, who was Vera’s Grandmother Doris, after the family began to seek refuge from the Nazi persecution of Jewish people. They were already living in England by the time Vera’s 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 live 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. Suse, 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 Ursel and Alice. 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.

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