Arno Jacobius: personal correspondence

Scope and Content

This collection contains the personal correspondence of Arno Jacobius, a Jewish boy from Berlin who arrived in England on a Kindertransport in May 1939, aged 14. His stepbrother Roman Gärtner and his uncle Leo Levy emigrated separately to England. Arno's mother, Johanna Jacobius, however perished at Auschwitz concentration camp.

Included are letters from his mother, his stepbrother Roman Gärtner, his uncle Leo Levy from Kitchener camp in Kent, and other relatives and friends. The correspondence concerns Arno's new life in Scotland, the anticipated emigration of his mother and other relatives, and news from his stepbrother. The letters from Arno's uncle Leo Levy provide an account of the living conditions and activities carried out by refugees at Kitchener camp.

Administrative / Biographical History

Arno James Jacobius (1924-2009) was born in Berlin. He lived in Berlin-Steglitz with his mother Johanna Rachel Jacobius. Being Jewish, Arno's mother decided to send Arno on a Kindertransport to England in May 1939 in order to avoid him being persecuted. Arno attended the Whittingehame Farm School in Scotland. He lived in a kibbutz in Shropshire until he was 18 years old. He then joined the Jewish Brigade of the British Army and stayed on after the war to work as a translator at the Nuremberg Trials in 1946, informing senior Nazis of the court's decisions. When he returned to England he joined the gas board working in the marketing department. He married Joyce Elizabeth Wilkes from Wales. They had one daughter, Jo.

Arno's mother, Johanna Jacobius, was deported to Auschwitz concentration camp in November 1942. She perished in the Holocaust.

Raymond Gaertner (formerly Ramon Gärtner) was Arno's stepbrother. He came to England separately in August 1939. He was housed with various families including a family in Dorking and later near Petworth. His father also came to England (date unknown). Raymond applied for naturalisation in 1950. He entered the RAF a year later.

Arno's uncle Leo Levy emigrated to England in the spring of 1939 and initially stayed at Kitchener camp, Kent, before enlisting with the Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps in 1940. He was stationed in Wales and France and kept in close contact with Arno.



Conditions Governing Access

Acquisition Information

Donated by Jo Jacobius