Kaethe Cohn’s Escape from Berlin to London in 1942*

It is now well over fifty years since the end of the Second World War, yet almost every week a new book appears about the Nazi regime – the degree of involve? ment of ordinary Germans in the Holocaust, the willing help given by Switzer? land to the German war effort, and so forth. It may, therefore, be a relief to record the story of ‘one that got away’, and incidentally to hear something about the conditions of life for Jews in Berlin during the first half of the War.

Early in 1943, a woman in her thirties arrived at an airfield in the West of England on a flight from Lisbon. She had a stateless person’s passport issued in Switzerland, and claimed that she was a Jewish refugee who had escaped from Berlin. The official who questioned her was extremely sceptical. She was sent to Holloway prison and released

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