A story of displacement, strength and loss will be told at Huddersfield’s Holocaust Exhibition and Learning Centre by the daughter of Ursula Michel, who fled Nazi Germany with just one small suitcase of belongings.
Judith Rhodes will show a documentary, The Little Suitcase, that tells her mother’s story, and will bring Ursula’s Kindertransport case with her.
Ursula was just 15 years old when she came to Britain on one of the last Kindertransports to leave Germany in August 1939. She settled with a family in Newcastle-under-Lyme, where she stayed until she married in 1946, but never saw her parents or younger sister again. The last communication she received from her mother was a Red Cross form in March 1942, saying the family were to be deported the following month. It is believed that the family had all been murdered by early 1943.
Judith said the experience understandably left her mother with deep scars but added: “She was remarkably lucky in the family who took her in – a divorced mother with two very bright teenage children who were destined for university. There was no money to spare yet they gave my mother a loving family home where the son and daughter called my mother their ‘German sister’.”
Ursula died in August 2011 at the age of 87.
Judith’s talk begins at 2pm but the centre will be open from noon so guests can also experience the interactive exhibition Through Our Eyes, that tells the story of the Holocaust through memories, belongings, photographs and film from 16 survivors who settled in Yorkshire.
Refreshments will be available for a small donation.
This event is part of The National Lottery #ThanksToYou campaign, designed to give something back to lottery players whose contributions ensure more than £30m is donated to good causes each week. Anyone who buys a National Lottery ticket on the day before the talk can attend for free – the usual price is £6, with concessions £4. Please bring your Lottery ticket and show it on the door for free entry.
This event is supported by a grant from The Association of Jewish Refugees.