“Mine isn’t a horror story. Mine is a nice story. I did lose most of my family… but mine’s a happy story”.
Leisel was born in Hildesheim, Germany in 1935. Her father was arrested in the street in 1937 and later died of his injuries, becoming one of the town’s first victims of the Holocaust. Leisel’s mother travelled to the UK on a domestic service visa but was not allowed to bring four-year-old Leisel with her. Eventually, her employer managed to secure a Nansen passport for Leisel which enabled Leisel to travel from Germany to Norway and then to safety in the UK. Leisel didn’t live with her mother again, instead finding sanctuary with a foster family in Leeds, the town where she still lives.
In her talk Leisel will explain how she finally traced her story in the 1980s and was reunited with the Norwegian foster family who helped to save her life. She will reflect on her family’s experiences and their resonance for contemporary Britain.
The Holocaust Exhibition & Learning Centre will be open from 12-4pm to enable guests to see the exhibition. Refreshments will be available after the talk for a small donation.