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Accession Number: NEKHC: 2021.26

Object: Suitcase

Physical Description:  Brown hard case with wooden supports and metal fastenings. Complete.

Information: This case belongs to Susanne Pearson. Susanne was sent to England to save her life, the case was brought to England by Susanne and packed by Susanne's mother for her journey.

Further Information

Susanne Pearson was born in 1928, in Moravska Ostrava, Czechoslovakia. When Susanne was four the family moved to Prague for her father’s job as an engineer. The family were Jewish but were not particularly observant at home. Susanne remembers having an active lifestyle, and was also a member of the Red Falcons along with her mother. The Red Falcons was a youth movement with links to the Woodcraft Folk in England, this would later help to save Susanne’s life.

In 1938 the family moved into a larger flat and began to provide a temporary home to refugees from Germany and Austria who were fleeing Nazi persecution. In March 1939, after the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, Susanne was sent to Britain as part of the rescue plan of Sir Nicholas Winton. There were very few places, however the English Woodcraft Folk had offered 20 homes to children who were Red Falcon members.

Susanne left Prague by train on 29 June 1939, in preparation for this journey and her new life in England, Susanne’s mother packed this case with as much as she could. Having read up about England, and knowing it would be cold and wet, Susanne’s mother tried to pack everything she thought would be needed. The case is treasured by Susanne as it was so lovingly packed by her mother. Because they were Jewish, both of Susanne’s parents were murdered in the Holocaust. 

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