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Accession Number: NEKHC:2009.210

Object: Report

Physical Description: Report for Lingfield House from 1954. 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 report is from 1954, and is 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 a scheme hostels were established in Britain 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 begins by noting the success of the year, and that the children welcomed the opportunity to become British subjects; the costs of their becoming British subjects were met by the Central British Fund. There had been 17 children living at Lingfield for much of the year, with three leaving after summer holidays. The fourteen remaining children were either continuing at school or in training for their prospective careers at that time. As the scheme had been in operation since 1945, the report also updates readers on the progress of children now grown and beginning to branch out into the world. Trips out and fundraising events are detailed in the report, as is the care and devotion shown by Alice and her team who looked after the children. These updates reflect the original aim of Alice and her team to provide children liberated from Nazi camps with what they would need for their physical and mental development after having endured extreme suffering and having witnessed the brutality of the Holocaust as children. 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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