Preserving The Oral HistorIES of Combat Veterans

COMBAT STORIES FROM World War II

Hannah Deutch | German Civilian

5:45   |   Hannah Deutch's father served in the German Army during WWI. He would not live long enough to see the tragedy that befell his Jewish family, having died in a flu epidemic in 1929. She and her mother were living with her grandparents in Bochum, where the schools were excellent. She was very good at learning languages.

More From Hannah Deutch

Keywords   :     Hannah Deutch    Jew    Jewish    Germany    Dusseldorf    German    Bochum    Westphalia    school    French    Latin    Language

Videos ( 12 )
WWII
  • Hannah Deutch  |  WWII  |  German Civilian  |  4:41

    Hannah Deutch had two inseparable friends when she was growing up in Dusseldorf. One made it through the Holocaust and one didn't. All of her family except she and her mother also perished. It all started when one of her non-Jewish schoolmates said she could not play with Hannah anymore.

  • Hannah Deutch  |  WWII  |  German Civilian  |  6:54

    Her Jewish school had been closed so Hannah Deutch was working in a textile store. She turned in early but was awakened by chaos outside. It was Kristallnacht, when anti-Jewish riots devastated the German Jewish community.

  • Hannah Deutch  |  WWII  |  German Civilian  |  5:26

    It was after the war, in the Holocaust Museum in Washington, that Hannah Deutch found out the tragic fate of the relatives she left behind in Germany. A few nearly made it to the end of the war, but none of them survived.

  • Hannah Deutch  |  WWII  |  German Civilian  |  5:36

    Hannah Deutch was a teenager when the Kindertransport rescue effort became her means of escape from Germany. England was taking in thousands of Jewish children and she got her papers in order and left. Right away, as the oldest one in the large group, she became the leader on the journey.

  • Hannah Deutch  |  WWII  |  German Civilian  |  5:07

    They were welcomed with open arms. 150 Jewish children arrived in England, including sixteen year old Hannah Deutch, who had been a substitute mother to the younger ones on the journey. She passed all the exams she needed to work as a nurse, but there was one little problem. No English. She remedied that right away.

  • Hannah Deutch  |  WWII  |  German Civilian  |  6:57

    Jewish refugee Hannah Deutch was working in a London hospital when it was bombed. The facility was evacuated to the seashore but, since she was a German citizen, she became an "enemy alien." Her internment was on the Isle of Man in a swank resort.

  • Hannah Deutch  |  WWII  |  British Army Nurse  |  6:00

    German Jewish refugee Hannah Deutch was working as a nurse in a Manchester hospital when she decided it was time to pay England back for saving her from the Nazis. She joined the British Army. At first she was told she had to be an officer's assistant or a cook. She said no, I am a trained nurse.

  • Hannah Deutch  |  WWII  |  British Army Nurse  |  2:31

    In London, when it was cold, you huddled close to the fireplace and talked. German Jewish refugee Hannah Deutch was now a British Army nurse and she had befriended another young woman who was in the group sitting around the fireplace. All of a sudden, her friend made a startling declaration, "I hate the Jews."

  • Hannah Deutch  |  WWII  |  British Army Nurse  |  4:00

    British Army nurse Hannah Deutch was stationed right next to Buckingham Palace when the place was bombed out. They were cheered by a visit from Winston Churchill. She was a Jewish refugee from Germany and was a regular at the Jewish Forces Club. That was where she met a very special Canadian.

  • Hannah Deutch  |  WWII  |  British Army Nurse  |  5:16

    Hannah Deutch got engaged to a Canadian soldier and right away, there was no end to the people who wanted to help with the wedding. The Jewish refugee was a British Army nurse in London and her wedding was staged in posh style by English benefactors.

  • Hannah Deutch  |  WWII  |  British Army Nurse  |  7:35

    All leave was cancelled. The D-Day operation was imminent, but British Army nurse Hannah Deutch and her Canadian husband managed an intimate rendezvous in London. Shortly after that, she came up sick. She couldn't be pregnant, could she? After all, leave was cancelled. Soon she was sick again, seasick on a difficult Atlantic crossing to Canada to be with her in-laws.

  • Hannah Deutch  |  WWII  |  British Army Nurse  |  2:29

    The end of the war was very sad for Hannah Deutch when she found out that nearly her entire family had perished. Fortunately, she was in the care of her new in-laws in Montreal, where her husband soon returned to join her and their new son.

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