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Accession Number: NEKHC:2009.211

Object: Report

Physical Description: Report for Lingfield House from 1952. Colour printed report with black and white interiors. In complete condition.

Information:  A report written in 1954 to summarise events happening at a hostel located first at Weir Courtney and then Isleworth, known as 'Lingfield House'. It forms part of the Museum's Lingfield House Collection.

Further Information

This is a report for 1952, and the 1953 Bazaar Programme, published as one of a series of annual reports released by those involved in the running and financing of activities at Lingfield House. It documents activity undertaken as part of a Home Office scheme to care for some of the children who had been liberated from Nazi concentration camps. The scheme was part of a wider allied effort to respond to the humanitarian emergency at the end of the Holocaust. With many thousands of people displaced and searching for surviving family members, there was a question of how to care for and assist the orphaned or unaccompanied children who had been found in Nazi concentration camps. As part of the British scheme, hostels were established for the care of a selected number of the children including at Weir Courtney, and later Isleworth, known as ‘Lingfield House’. The home operated under the auspices of The West London Synagogue Association, and was run day-to-day by Alice Goldberger and a small team of staff who became much loved by the children they cared for. Zdenka Husserl was brought to Britain as part of this scheme after being liberated in Theresienstadt, she has donated this report along with several others, which are now held in the Museum’s collection. The reports form an important record of events in Zdenka’s life, along with others who were involved in the programme. As well as financial information for donors and others, this report details the happenings of Lingfield House, particularly progress of its residents. The report introduces the Bazaar Committee, and the stalls which will be available before recounting activities and news from the children of Lingfield House. It was important for the continuation of their work that fundraising events such as bazaars were held, as the running costs for the children outstripped donations which Lingfield gratefully received. The children had positive school reports for the year, and had a holiday at the seaside in August. Alice Goldberger particularly credits this holiday for the children’s good health with the later end of the year. Lingfield House had received several improvements over the year including the purchase of a washing machine, and installation of improved heating. The report also details the care and devotion shown by Alice and her team, and details a visit by one of the original staff members, Manna, who had since moved to Israel and was much missed. As the home was started in 1945, by 1952 many of the updates are from the children who had now grown up and begun to branch out. The children of Lingfield spread all over the world after their time living at the house, however they often kept in regular contact as Alice and her team were much loved. The report notes that at the time of writing 26 children had left Lingfield House; 6 had been adopted, 4 went to Israel, 9 were reunited with a parent or other relative, 5 were working in London, 1 went to Canada, and 1 had died. With this in mind this issue considers the question of how long the home will continue to operate, noting that the youngest child was at that time eleven years old. The report notes that many of the children lost everyone during the Holocaust and have no other place to turn, therefore they must not be simply sent out into the world with no support. It especially notes that those living in London return to Lingfield House frequently for visits and to seek advice from Alice when needed. Zdenka’s family were murdered during the Holocaust, at the time she was a small child. Her time at Lingfield meant Alice became a mother figure for Zdenka, and she remembers fondly the staff and children who lived there.

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