Leo Rosengarten

Born: Witten-Heven, Westphalia, Germany, 1903

Profession in country of origin: labourer and bricklayer

Arrived in Britain as a refugee from Germany in summer 1939

Documents

Male enemy alien - Exemption from internment - Refugee  
                          
Surname: Rosengarten 
Forename: Leo 
Alias: - 
Date and place of birth: 07/05/1903 in Witten-Heven
Nationality: German 
Police Regn. Cert. No.: 767 847 
Home Office ref: C 3892   
Address: Kitchener camp, Richborough, Sandwich, Kent 
Normal occupation: Bricklayer
Present occupation: -
Name and address of employer: - 
Decision of tribunal: Exempted "C"   
Date 20.10.1939 
Whether exempted from Article 6(A): Yes 
Whether desires to be repatriated: No 

Tribunal District: Richborough Camp Tribunal 5

Source: National Arrives, 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.

  • Kitchener camp, wedding, October 1939, Leo Rosengarten
  • Kitchener camp, wedding, October 1939, Leo Rosengarten

English translation of the above:

To our dear friend Rosengarten
We wish on his wedding day,
Of course to you, Helga, too,
All the best we can think of.
We all know very well,
You have a noble heart,
You’ll treat your young wife well
And always love her dear,
You’ll cherish her all the time 
Until you are grown old,
For you are always caring,
As we experienced ourselves.
Bread and butter, dear Leo,
Were always there.
When you arrived in the hut,
We shouted la oud ‘Hurrah’.
Your trade man’s bucket brought to you,
And all of us, good luck.
It opened all the doors to you,
Never empty-handed you came back.
As a comrade you proved yourself
With us at any time.
For that we’ll hold you always dear
For all eternity.
You never thought just merely of yourself,
For others too you had to care.
Look, Helga, now this is the glory
Belonging now to you alone.
Though not attending ourselves,
The wedding isn’t valid less:
We wish much happiness to the young couple
And to their future children!

The Comrades of
Hut 23/I
Ackerfeld, Adler, Baum, Demuth, Eisenberg, Gonsinowski, 3*Heilborn, Henoch, Hess, Kadritzkt, Kongrecki, Levy, Lewin, Lucas, Meier, Michel, Nebel, Neugeboren, Neustadt, Oske, Penzias, Rosenthal, 2* Sadel, Silberberg, Sommer, Tanne, Waksmann, Wedel, Weintraub, Weissenberg, Wormann, Zacharias

Kitchener Camp
Richborough 30.10.39

Translation kindly submitted by a Kitchener researcher

[Editor: Cross-checking these names against the 1939 Register, we have the following information about the men in Hut 23/I

  • Mortiz Ackerfeld, born 1894 – a tailor
  • Adler – too many possibilities to draw a conclusion
  • Hans Baum, born 1902 – a clerk
  • or 
  • Max Baum, born 1893 – a pharmacist
  • Armand Demuth, born 1904 – a clerk
  • Gustav Eisenberg, born 1905 – a plumber
  • Adolf Eisenberg, born 1900 – a bookseller
  • Manfred Gonsiorowski, born 1917 – a milliner
  • Heilborn – too many possibilities to draw a conclusion
  • Ludwig Henoch, born 1900 – a farm assistant
  • Hess – too many possibilities to draw a conclusion
  • Leo Kadritzki, born 1897 – a textile dealer
  • Abraham Kongrecki, born 1901 – an upholsterer
  • Levy – too many possibilities to draw a conclusion
  • Lewin – too many possibilities to draw a conclusion
  • David Lucas, born 1900 – a jockey
  • Meier – too many possibilities to draw a conclusion
  • Michel – too many possibilities to draw a conclusion
  • Heimann Nebel, born 1897 – a master butcher or Erich Nebel, born 1895 – a linen salesman
  • Neugeboren – not in 1939 Register
  • Rudolf Neustadt, born 1904 – a master furrier
  • Werner Oske, born 1898 – a labourer and driver
  • Karol Penzias, born 1911 – a leather salesman
  • Rosenthal – too many possibilities to draw a conclusion
  • Sadel * 2 – not in 1939 Register
  • Kurt Silberberg, born 1903 – a bank manager
  • Sommer – too many possibilities to draw a conclusion
  • Max Tanne-Muenz (probably), born 1912 – a textile salesman
  • Cecil Waksmann, born 1899 – a laundry owner
  • Edmund Wedel, born 1909 – a farm assistant
  • Weintraub – too many possibilities to draw a conclusion
  • Weissenberg – too many possibilities to draw a conclusion
  • Wormann – not in 1939 Register
  • Julian Zacharias, born 1905 – a textiles commercial traveller
Kitchener camp 1939, Leo Rosengarten, Letter from Jonas May, Director, to the Kitchener men
Kitchener camp 1939, Leo Rosengarten, Letter from Jonas May, Director, to the Kitchener men

Leo’s two sisters were also living in Sandwich, working as domestic servants, when the 1939 Register was taken.

[Hand-written: Exempt from Registration whilst husband serving in HM Forces]
Female enemy alien - Exemption from internment - Refugee  
                          
Surname: Rosengarten 
Forename: Lotte 
[Hand-written later: Eiffeler by marriage]
Alias: - 
Date and place of birth: 18/04/1914 in Duisburg
Nationality: German 
Police Regn. Cert. No.: 725 695
Home Office ref: C 3892   
Address: 1, Minster Road, NW2
Normal occupation: Domestic
Present occupation: Nil
Name and address of employer: *** 
Decision of tribunal: Exempt
Date 08.12.1939 
Whether exempted from Article 6(A): Yes 
Whether desires to be repatriated: No 

Tribunal District: Metropolitan Police Tribunal No. 24
Female enemy alien - Exemption from internment - Refugee  
                          
Surname: Rosengarten 
Forename: Helene 
Alias: - 
Date and place of birth: 27/09/1909 in Rathenow
Nationality: German 
Police Regn. Cert. No.: 997876 [original number crossed out - unreadable]
Home Office ref: -  
Address: Ford House, Codicote, Herts
Normal occupation: Domestic servant
Present occupation: As above
Name and address of employer: Major Bower, Address as above
Decision of tribunal: Nt to be interned
Date 07.12.1939 
Whether exempted from Article 6(A): Yes 
Whether desires to be repatriated: No 

Tribunal District: Hertford
Signed A T Miller 7 December 1939

Source: National Arrives, 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.

Lotte and Helene Rosengarten, 1939 Register, Paradise Row, Sandwich
Lotte and Helene Rosengarten, 1939 Register, Paradise Row, Sandwich

Letters

  • Richborough transit camp, Leo Rosengarten, Leni Rosengarten, Letter, Domestic service post, 21 September 1939, page 1
  • Richborough transit camp, Leo Rosengarten, Leni Rosengarten, Letter, Domestic service post, 21 September 1939, page 2

Letters submitted by Herbert Rosengarten for his father Leo.

Memories

One of seven children, Leo was born in Witten-Heven, Westphalia, and grew up in neighbouring Herbede, not far from Dortmund. His parents were Hermann and Ida Rosengarten. He went to school in Herbede, and left at fifteen or sixteen to become a labourer and bricklayer.

Leo was incarcerated in Dachau, probably shortly after Kristallnacht in November 1938. He was released sometime in the spring or summer of 1939, on condition that he not return to Germany. He sought to go to the US, and through the Society of Friends (the Quakers) found a potential sponsor in Philadelphia. Meanwhile, two of his sisters had made their way to England, and petitioned the German Jewish Aid Society for help to enable him to join them in London.

Their efforts were successful, and in the summer of 1939 Leo was able to make his way via Ostend to England and Kitchener Camp at Richborough. He was held there as an enemy alien, then enlisted in the Pioneer Corps. It was at this time that he got married. His bride, Helga Kahn, was herself a refugee who had escaped to England earlier in 1939, with the help of her younger sister in Manchester. There she worked in domestic service in the household of a university researcher (a future Nobel prizewinner) until I was born in 1940.

Leo’s time of service in the Pioneer Corps was brief; he was discharged on medical grounds, sought to rejoin after his recovery, but was denied. He and Helga moved to Manchester in the summer of 1940, where he worked in a factory until the end of the war. After the war, he began a small building and decorating business, which he gave up with age and illness around 1970. He died in 1975, and is buried in Southern Cemetery, Manchester.

Leo’s family was heavily impacted by Nazi persecution. His parents were arrested and sent to Theresienstadt in 1942, where his father died. His mother Ida survived the camp ordeal and lived until 1950. Two of his sisters, Else and Herta, died in Theresienstadt; two others, Leni and Lotte, managed to escape to England, then emigrated to the US. His brother Max died in Theresienstadt, and his brother Arthur was murdered at a camp in Lublin. Leo’s cousin Manfred Rosengarten was one of the Jewish refugees who escaped to Shanghai, where he remained until 1946. Manfred and his wife Evelyn (now deceased) eventually settled in the US; his son Andy lives in British Columbia, his daughter Linda in California.

Leo’s wife Helga also lost members of her family in the Holocaust. Her aunt was deported to Theresienstadt and killed in Treblinka; her older sister was murdered in Ravensbrück. They are commemorated by stolpersteine in Frankfurt am Main, and a sculpture in Oberursel.

Submitted by Herbert Rosengarten for his father, Leo

Photographs

  • Richborough camp, Leo Rosengarten, Pioneer Corps, 1940
  • Leo Rosengarten, Kitchener camp 1939, possibly hut 23. Leo is on the left of the picture at the end of the front row, just behind one of the men reclining on the ground
  • Kitchener camp, service, Leo Rosengarten

Photographs submitted by Herbert Rosengarten for his father Leo