Herbert Elliott: personal papers and memorabilia

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

This collection comprises the personal papers of Herbert Elliott (formerly Eisenthal), a former Kindertransportee from Vienna who escaped Nazi persecutions in 1938. His sister emigrated to Palestine. His father was unable to leave Vienna but survived his imprisonment at Terezin concentration camp, where he was held for almost three years.

Included are Herbert Elliott's school reports and qualifications; birth certificate; certificate of origin ('Heimatschein'); declaration of property taken to England for the Foreign Exchange Office ('Devisenstelle'); steamship ticket from Hook to Harwich; extracts from the Refugee Children's Movement register relating to Herbert Elliott; certificate of naturalisation and change of name deed. Also included are letters from his father sent from Deggendorf displacement camp, and transcript of a recording of an interview with Herbert Elliott (incomplete) detailing his upbringing in Vienna, his parents' backgrounds and his emigration to England. The collection also contains a leaf from a tree and soil from the grave of Herbert Elliott's mother, which his father gave him when he left for England.

Administrative / Biographical History

Wigdor Hersch Eisenthal ('Hermann'; 1882-1948) was originally from Kossow, Austrian Hungarian Empire (now Ukraine). He was brought up in the Jewish Orthodox faith. Hermann served in the First World War and received two silver medals in honour for his services. He moved to Vienna shortly after the war and worked as a wholesale drapery merchant. In 1921 he got married to Stella Eisenthal (1888-1936) from Vienna. She was educated at a finishing school for girls until she was about 20 years old, which was unusual at the time. They had two children: Ilse (born in 1922) and Herbert (born in 1924). In the early 1930s Hermann Eisenthal gave up his business and became a travelling salesman. This became increasingly difficult as a war wound started affecting his eyesight. Hermann was a member of the Socialist party and the local Zionist group.

After the annexation of Austria, Hermann Eisenthal lost his assets and the financial situation became increasingly difficult. His wife had died in 1936 but he had to continue supporting his two children. Herbert was allowed to attend his school until July 1938 when he had to transfer due to new Nazi legislation. Shortly after the November pogroms Hermann took his son to the local Jewish Community Centre which arranged for Herbert's emigration on a Kindertransport to England. He left Vienna in December 1938. His sister went to Palestine in July 1939 but never fully recovered from her traumatic experiences in Vienna. Herbert initially stayed at a holiday camp in Dovercourt and was later moved to Ipswich where boys and girls were separated. He was then transferred to a family in Preston, where he started grammar school. Between 1941 and 1945 Herbert Eisenthal trained as an electrical engineer at the Union of Lancashire and Cheshire Institutes, the City and Guilds of London Institute and later at Manchester Municipal College of Technology. He got married to Louise Moss of Manchester in 1952.

Herbert's father stayed behind in Vienna. He was deported to Theresienstadt concentration camp in July 1942. He survived and was liberated in May 1945. Hermann Eisenthal then went to the displaced persons camp Deggendorf where he stayed until he received his permit to emigrate to Palestine. He died in Jerusalem in 1948.

Arrangement

Chronological and by subject

Conditions Governing Access

Acquisition Information

Donated by Louise Elliott

Note

2010/38