Karl Löwy

Born: Gmünd, Austria, 13 August 1898

Profession in country of origin: Grocer

Arrived in Britain as a refugee from Austria in 1939

Documents

Male enemy alien - Exemption from internment - Refugee  
                         
Surname: Lowy
Forename: Karl
Alias: -
Date and place of birth: 13/08/1898 in Gmund
Nationality: German
Police Regn. Cert. No.: 712 888
Home Office ref: C 2385
Address: Kitchener camp, Richborough, Sandwich, Kent
Normal occupation: Grocer
Present occupation: -
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
13.08.93                            Lowy, Karl
712888
Sailed for Australia
in SS 'Dunera'
on 10th July, 1940
Richborough EC L16038

[Editor’s note: On the original, the year of birth on the record above appears to be incorrect. It gives 1893, when it ought to be 1898. However, all the other details, including the Home Office, number are the same, so we can be comfortable that this is the same man.]

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 (full name) Karl Löwy
Date of birth: 13/08/1898        Place of Birth: Gmünd
Interned at No.E40154 Camp at Hay
request that my name and particulars
be not communicated

Date 30.I.1941.             Signature

Source: National Archives of Australia, NAA: MP1103/2, E40154.

Prisoner of War/Internee; Loewy, Karl; 
Year of birth – 1898; 
Nationality – Austrian; 
Contents range 1939-1945; 
Series number MP1103/2; 
Control symbol E40154; 
Access status: Open; 
Barcode 9906658
                       German
Australian Military Forces
Report on Internee
Identification number Surname Other names Nationality
E40154 Loewy Karl Austrian

Date of birth: 13/08/1898
Place of Birth: Gmünd
Occupation: Food merchant
Religion: Jewish
Private address: Kitchener camp
Business address: Kent

Place of capture: Kent
Date of capture: 11.05.1940
Date of internment: 06/09/1940
Place of internment: Hay
From whom received: British guard

Height: 5'10"
Weight: 160lb
Complexion: Dark
Hair: Black
Eyes: Brown
Marks and peculiarities: None

Reason for internment: Enemy alien refugee

If medically examined:
Medical report number: 23/040HAY
Personal effects: None
Marital condition: married
Name of wife: Magda Loewy
Next of kin: wife Magda Loewy
Her address: Budapest

How long resident in Australia: Since 26/08/1940
Date of entry: 26.08.1940 Ship: Dunera Port of disembarkation: Sydney
Statement of service: Austrian 1917-1918
Father's name in full: Edouard Loewy
Mother's pre-marriage name: Emma Singer
Signature
Date 14.11.1940

Camp commandant Internment camp Hay
Date 14.11.1940

Source: National Archives of Australia, NAA. MP1103/2; Control symbol E40154; Access status: open; Barcode 9906658.

Kitchener camp, Karl Löwy, National Archives of Australia, Dunera, Internee Hay camp, Prisoner of war – Service and casualty form: Dunera, Hay, Tatura, to Liverpool for release, Released for Palestine, July 1942
Submitted by Nikolas Pollinger for his great-uncle Karl Löwy
Kitchener camp, Karl Löwy, National Archives of Australia, Dunera, Internee Hay camp, Prisoner of war – Service and casualty form: Dunera, Hay, Tatura, to Liverpool for release, Released for Palestine, July 1942.
Submitted by Nikolas Pollinger for his great-uncle Karl Löwy
Source: National Archives of Australia Submitted by Nikolas Pollinger for his great-uncle Karl Löwy
Source: National Archives of Australia.
Submitted by Nikolas Pollinger for his great-uncle Karl Löwy

Letters

Memories

Karl Löwy (born 1898) was the co-owner of a thriving grocery business in the small Austrian town of Gmünd in Lower Austria (Nieder Österreich). He owned it with his brother Hermann and they had inherited it from its founder, their father, Eduard Löwy. 

Karl and Hermann, along with their wives Magda and Margarete, were hounded out of town to Vienna and their business was aryanised (forcibly sold to non-Jewish owners) between 1938 and 1939.

Throughout 1939 Karl, Hermann, their wives and siblings, had been trying to escape Nazi-governed Europe (Karl’s sisters Ottilie and Hedwig had married and had been living in Vienna from the early 1920s, whilst his sisters Helene and Ella had married and moved to Teplitz Schönau in Czechoslovakia before the early 1920s). Their plans, recorded in letters between relatives from that time, included Palestine, England, and Venezuela.

Karl is not mentioned a great deal in the letters. This might be because he was in a concentration camp – something that remains to be confirmed.

Karl arrived in Sandwich in August 1939, as recorded in a relative’s letter to Hedwig. At the same time his wife Magda, who was born Hungarian, had to head to Budapest to escape Nazi persecution because her visa for England had not yet been secured: when it was, work broke out almost straight afterwards; she somehow survived the war in Budapest.

Two of Karl’s letters from Sandwich are among letters we still have; they were sent to Hedwig in October and December 1939. In the letters Karl writes of adjusting to camp life and also speculates on the fates of their siblings and Magda. He is aware of how lucky he and Hedwig are (she was also in the UK – on a domestic service visa).

The next letter to Hedwig was sent from Hay internment camp in Sydney, Australia, in December 1940. Karl had been deported on the Dunera.

Karl was then moved to Tatura internment camp in Victoria, Australia, until he managed to get to Palestine in 1942. He stayed there for the duration of the war, getting intermittent news from Magda until finally he heard that she had survived and could perhaps join him in Palestine.

Karl stated that he would never return to Gmünd or Vienna, but he and Magda did (either because she could not get to Palestine or because they could not settle there). His shop was returned to him and Hermann (who had managed to reach the USA in 1939 and also returned).

Karl’s sister Hedwig survived the war in the UK, and his sister Ottilie survived in Vienna because she was married to a Catholic. Sisters Ella and Helene were deported from Prague with their husbands in 1941 and perished. Fortunately, their children survived.

Karl and Magda never had any children, to Magda’s regret, later in life. They sold the business in the early 1970s (Hermann having died in 1967) and retired to Vienna. Karl died in 1985 and Magda died in 1993. They are buried in the Jewish section of Vienna’s Zentralfriedhof cemetery.

Submitted by Nikolas Pollinger for his great-uncle Karl Löwy

Photographs

Kitchener camp, Karl Löwy – Karl is seated, second on the right
Kitchener camp, Karl Löwy – Karl is seated, second on the right.
Submitted by Nikolas Pollinger for his great-uncle.