Ruth Bar­nett, 83 ‘Years later, when I was 14, my mother ap­peared out of nowhere, a to­tal stranger’

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again un­til later in the war.

Kosch­land went to a hos­tel in Mar­gate, in Kent, be­fore be­ing evac­u­ated in 1940 to a vil­lage near Lichfield in the Midlands, where he boarded with an el­derly Jewish fam­ily. He ex­changed let­ters with his par­ents un­til war broke out in Septem­ber 1939. One of his great re­grets is that, at the sug­ges­tion of a school friend who told him that hav­ing let­ters in German in wartime would in­crim­i­nate him, he de­stroyed them. “I’ve re­gret­ted it ev­ery day since,” he says.

Kosch­land lost con­tact with his par­ents at that point and spent the war not know­ing what had hap­pened to them. He was told of their fate af­ter the war had ended in 1945 by his sis­ter, who met him from school and told him that a sur­vivor of the camps had pro­vided in­for­ma­tion that they had been de­ported and were dead, mur­dered ei­ther in Riga in Ruth Bar­nett was born in 1935, in a Ger­many that was al­ready de­scend­ing into Nazi tyranny. Her Jewish fa­ther was a judge who had been de­prived of his post and frog­marched out of his court by the SS in 1933; her non-Jewish mother ran a cinema-ad­ver­tis­ing busi­ness in Ber­lin. “We had a bril­liant fu­ture in front of us un­til the Nazis came to power,” she says.

Bar­nett’s fa­ther was in hid­ing for much of the next six years. But the fact that he was black­listed and his life was in dan­ger may have helped his two children – Ruth had a brother, Martin, who was three years older than her – get on the list for a Kin­der­trans­port to the UK in Fe­bru­ary 1939. Though only four years old at the time, she re­calls the jour­ney from Ber­lin. “I thought it was a hol­i­day trip,” she says. Her mother, who had a short-term visa, ac­com­pa­nied the two children, left

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