Jersey memorial to Guernsey deportees

 

The three women named on this memorial were transported from Guernsey in April 1942.  They were all foreign nationals – Spitz and Steiner were Austrian, Grunfield was Polish.

 

Therese Steiner had left Austria due to a rise in anti Semitism, she found work in England as a nanny and the family moved to Guernsey in 1939.  In 1940 they decided to return home, but Therese was detained by the island authorities as a foreign alien.  She thus ended up in the hands of the people she had come to the UK to escape.

 

In spring 1942 the German authorities ordered that the Guernsey government deliver the three foreign Jews for deportation.  Therese’s friend walked with her, that she should be taken away to her death was inconceivable – ‘it was all outside our experience, really...things like that don’t happen in England’.

 

They all placed themselves in the hands of the Germans at St Peter Port and boarded a boat that took them to France, where they were registered as foreign Jews.  Therese found work as a nurse.  In July they became caught up in a mass deportation of foreign Jews from France.  On 20th July they were transported to Auschwitz, arriving there three days later.

 

It is not known if they survived initial selection, what is known is that they did not survive the war.

 
 
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