A British family who were among the last to flee the Nazis before war broke out has gifted Israel’s national Holocaust museum a 1930s briefcase containing papers showing how British spy Frank Foley got them out.
Lion ‘Bob’ Rubin, who has lived in London since escaping at the age of two, was in Israel last week to take part in a special ceremony at Yad Vashem to gift dozens of documents and photos including birth certificates, letters, memoirs and visas.
Bob’s sister Daisy was put on the Kindertransport after her Polish-born parents Samson and Ettel moved to Austria then to Berlin, where they were living when Nazi thugs unleashed the murderous pogrom later known as Kristallnacht.
British spy Frank Foley, who was working undercover in the Berlin embassy as a passport control officer, issued the family with papers allowing them to escape, which they were able to do in August 1939, just 25 days before war was declared between Britain and Germany.
The collection includes the family’s German passports and identity cards from 1939. These are stamped with Nazi insignia and marked with a ‘J’ to identify them as Jews.
The middle name ‘Israel’ was added to Samson’s name and both his wife and daughter Daisy have the middle name ‘Sarah,’ part of the Nuremberg Laws of 1935 designed to separate and identify Jews.
“If it wasn’t for these visas we all certainly would have died,” said Bob, a former black cab driver, whose sister Daisy went to stay at a hostel in Sunderland before reuniting with the family in London.
“I can’t know how hard it must have been for my parents to send their daughter away on the Kindertransport – not knowing if they will ever see her again. But we were the lucky ones. None of the other girls from Sunderland ever saw their parents again.”