Jewish survivors of the Holocaust
Flor, Arthur (2 of 2) Holocaust Survivors Centre Interviews
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Refugee from Nazi Europe
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Holocaust Survivors Centre Interviews
Flor, Arthur, 1914- (speaker, male)
Swarc, Alan (speaker, male)
Part 2: Arthur managed to emigrate in April 1939 through the auspices of Major Julian Layton and Kitchener Camp. The camp acted as a transit camp for 3,000 refugees from Germany and Austria who were destined to go on to Palestine or the USA. AF obtained a certificate from the Kultusgemeinde that he was emigrating to Palestine and he was thus able to go to Kitchener Camp in Richborough, Kent. Charlotte arrived in England a month later with his sister and stayed with his parents. The outbreak of war in September 1939 stopped all exits from Kitchener Camp to other countries. With Arthur’s organisational abilities he was soon involved in the transport of the refugees’ luggage between Sandwich station and the camp. On 26th May, 1940 the British, fearing a German invasion, interned many German and Austrian Jewish refugees as enemy aliens. AF and the inhabitants of the camp were transported as prisoners via Liverpool to the Isle of Man. There was always friction between the Germans and the Austrians, the former considering themselves superior. AF met Major Julian Layton again, who apologised for his internment. Soon AF and two other colleagues from the luggage section were taken back to Kitchener Camp to sort out the internees’ luggage which had been left behind in the mad rush to internment. In the meantime, there had been pilferage by the soldiers and local people. He then worked at Bloomsbury House in London (Jewish Refugee Committee) from September 1940 to October 1941, dealing again with the storage of the personal possessions of the internees. He then joined the Home Guard for the next three years. Returning to civilian life in 1944 he became a laundry van driver. He remembers the Doodlebugs and the V2 rockets which rained on London. His wife and son (born 1942) were evacuated to Ilfracombe. Later he moved to Surbiton and became a traveller in ladieswear. After the war he tried to trace relatives in Vienna but there was no trace of them. He returned to Vienna to visit the grave of his grandfather and other relatives who died before the war. AF believes the anti-Semitism of the Austrians is undiminished to this day.