Fred Stern ( a threat to Britain?)

Fred (aged 15) arrived in the UK from Vienna on 13th January 1939.

Fred’s overriding memory of being on the Kindertransport was opening the train window as it left Germany and spitting back at the country he had left. That was the moment he knew he had escaped death.

An avid boy scout, Fred had brought with him a toy morse code set which he and his best friend loved to tinker with.  On arrival, Fred's luggage was checked and the police found the set, confiscated it and classified Fred as a threat to Britain.

This led to internment, first on the Isle of Man and then for two years in Canada. These experiences were brutal for a young boy on his own but Fred was kept going by the knowledge that both his parents has escaped the Nazis and safely made it to Britain to work as domestics.  In Vienna the family were well off and relied on servants for these tasks, now his mum had to learn to cook while his Dad had to figure out one end of a spade from another in order to fulfill his gardening duties.

When Fred eventually returned to the UK he was joyfully reunited with his family where they were living in Wales.

kindertransport, Fred Stern

Fred studied at night school to become a mechanical engineer and married a Jewish girl from Vienna. They had two daughters. 

At 94 years young Fred still enjoys socialising and a good game of bridge.

Fred recently received his case files from World Jewish Relief's archives which he says contained many long forgotten names of people and places.  They also triggered memories that led to his daughters hearing many new family stories for the first time.

Fred getting his archives