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Accession Number: NEKHC:2009.194

Object: Book

Physical Description: Souvenir book, card and paper. Contains photographs. Metal screws removed from spine. 

Information: This book was donated by Zdenka Husserl and is from an episode of This is Your Life which featured Alice Goldberger. As part of a programme by the British government to care for some of the child survivors of the Holocaust, Alice cared for children who had been liberated from Nazi camps, and made orphans by the Nazi regime.

Further Information: 

This book forms part of the Zdenka Husserl Collection. It is the ‘big red book’ from an episode of This is Your Life, hosted by Eamonn Andrews. The episode focused on Alice Goldberger, who herself a refugee, became matron of the two children’s homes known as Lingfield House in which Zdenka lived.

Zdenka was born in 1939, in Prague, and at three years old was deported by the Nazi regime with her mother to Theresienstadt Concentration Camp and Ghetto. In her family, Zdenka was the only survivor of the Holocaust. After her liberation in 1945, Zdenka was brought to England as part of a scheme to aid surviving orphaned children liberated from the Nazi camp system.

Once in England the children lived in foster homes, including under the care of Alice. Speaking of Alice, and the episode of This is Your Life in 2016, Zdenka says: ‘Alice Goldberger was to all of us really like our mother and she didn’t want us to call her mother or aunt but we all felt very close and she was just a wonderful person. My strongest memory of Alice was the way she treated us all as individuals any problems we could go to her and she would talk to us and she was just a nice mother figure.

For many years Alice always watched ‘This is Your Life’ with Eamonn Andrews and she always said ‘one day I would really like to see all the children together’. So it was Sophie, Manna, and Getrude’s idea to write to Thames Television regarding if she could be a candidate, we wanted to do it for her eightieth birthday but we were one year too late so it was for her eighty-first birthday and it was the biggest surprise ever’. 

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