Helmuth Rosettenstein

Born: Koenigsberg, Germany, 1919

Profession in country of origin: painter and sign-writer

Arrived in Britain as a refugee from Germany in 1939


Male enemy alien - Exemption from internment - Refugee   
Surname: Rosettenstein
Forename: Helmuth  
Alias: - 
Date and place of birth: 12/11/1919 in Koenigsberg 
Nationality: German 
Police Regn. Cert. No.: 710 199
Home Office ref: C 508     
Address: Kitchener camp, Richborough, Sandwich, Kent 
Normal occupation: Painter and sign-writer
Present occupation: Painter and sign-writer
Name and address of employer: - 
Decision of tribunal: Exempted "C" & 9a
Date 06.10.1939 
Whether exempted from Article 6(A): Yes 
Whether desires to be repatriated: No 

Tribunal District: Richborough Camp Tribunal 1

Source: National Archives, Home Office: Aliens Department: Internees Index, 1939-1947.

Editor’s note: We are not allowed to reproduce National Archives (UK) images, but we are permitted to reproduce the material from them, as shown above.

"I don’t know who put me forward for the camp to this day. All I know is that they saved my life. The area had been acquired by the British Jewish community to house refugees and they had obtained permission to rebuild it. But they needed 200 tradesmen and I was a signwriter, so I was asked to come over. In fact I was number 196.

When I arrived I was given overalls and rubber boots and we all worked day and night to put up huts, level roads and instal such things as showers. Each hut could take 48 refugees and in the end we provided shelter for 3,600 Jews.

I came to England and I couldn’t speak a word of the language. But the people and the country were wonderful. Even when at school I had loved the idea of England as a sort of fairyland. England in German translates roughly as Angel-land and that is how I saw it. The land of angels.

I tried to fit in as quickly as I could. I loved everything about it, the freedom, the laughing faces, the relaxed atmosphere – all the opposite of Germany at the time” (Kent News, 19 January 2012).

See also: https://kitchenercamp.co.uk/kitchener-camp-archives-and-perceptions/