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Accession Number: NEKHC:2009.212

Object: Report

Physical Description: Report for Lingfield House from 1953. Colour printed report with black and white interiors. In complete condition.

Information:  A report written in 1953 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 1953, and the 1954 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 opens with some anxieties from the year, as several staff members faced illness including Alice. However Susie, and Sophie, a team member much loved by Zdenka are congratulated in their rising to these pressures. Reflections on the children’s achievements at school, beginning work, and for some moving away are positive. These are important updates as the ultimate aim in establishing the home was to provide the children with what they would need for their mental and physical development, after having experienced extreme suffering and brutality during the Holocaust. Whilst it details some of the children leaving education, the report notes that they remain young adolescents and would continue to live at Lingfield House as they began training for work. It is also emphasised that the children would need continuing support and advice during this critical period of their lives. The report then moves to introduce the Bazaar Committee, and the stalls which will be held, noting that the bazaar from the previous year had broken records and produced vital funds for 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. 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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