Gerhard Wolf – Memories

The diary of Gerhard (Gert) Wolf

The following ten pages are an extract from a much longer diary.

In the original, the following are pages 90-99.

The original was translated for the family by Frank Mecklenburg of the Leo Baeck Institute.

These pages are reproduced here with the kind permission of Ronnie Wolf, who retains copyright.

Please click on any image below to enlarge for ease of reading
Kitchener camp, Diary, Gerhard Wolf, Berlin ORT, page 1
Kitchener camp, Diary, Gerhard Wolf, Berlin ORT, page 1
A rrival at Kitchener camp by bus; Mr May
Kitchener camp, Diary, Gerhard Wolf, Berlin ORT, page 2
Kitchener camp, Diary, Gerhard Wolf, Berlin ORT, page 2
Listening to radio
Kitchener camp, Diary, Gerhard Wolf, Berlin ORT, page 3
Kitchener camp, Diary, Gerhard Wolf, Berlin ORT, page 3
War is declared; Chamberlain’s speech; 3,600 refugees in 40 cottages; mechanics, watchmakers, cobblers, suitcase makers, photographers, carpenters; work in kitchens, on roads, in sanitary departments; work hours 8am to 12pm and 1pm to 4pm; filling sandbags; Sandwich Bay
Kitchener camp, Diary, Gerhard Wolf, Berlin ORT, page 4
Kitchener camp, Diary, Gerhard Wolf, Berlin ORT, page 4
Cars transporting sandbags; darkness in blackout; neighbouring towns request help; working in Dover from 8am to 7pm; poor food; friendly local people; illness – diphtheria spreads
Kitchener camp, Diary, Gerhard Wolf, Berlin ORT, page 5
Kitchener camp, Diary, Gerhard Wolf, Berlin ORT, page 5
Simcha Torah; travelled to London with Alfred Jablonski; stay with relatives
Kitchener camp, Diary, Gerhard Wolf, Berlin ORT, page 6
Kitchener camp, Diary, Gerhard Wolf, Berlin ORT, page 6
First experience of London Underground; staying in relatives’ home; Lyons Corner House; Sandwich station – Bruno Haase, Werner Sultan
Kitchener camp, Diary, Gerhard Wolf, Berlin ORT, page 7
Kitchener camp, Diary, Gerhard Wolf, Berlin ORT, page 7
Father receives visa for 27 November 1939; 60 ORT boys leave for Leeds; staying with Max Abraham; 40 boys remain in Kitchener Camp; First group leaves on 27 November, including Bruno Haase, Werner Sultan, Walter Muszinsky; moved to a small room; working at hospital from 6pm to 2am or 2pm to 10pm
Kitchener camp, Diary, Gerhard Wolf, Berlin ORT, page 8
Kitchener camp, Diary, Gerhard Wolf, Berlin ORT, page 8
Working in metal shop or at carpentry; letter writing; Channukah description; Party in evening with music and magic tricks; departure date set for 19 December 1939
Kitchener camp, Diary, Gerhard Wolf, Berlin ORT, page 9
Kitchener camp, Diary, Gerhard Wolf, Berlin ORT, page 9
Illness; farewell party; bath – hot water issues
Kitchener camp, Diary, Gerhard Wolf, Berlin ORT, page 10
Kitchener camp, Diary, Gerhard Wolf, Berlin ORT, page 10
Left camp at 9am; “we could see the water tower of the camp for a long time”; wanting to find a job in London to pay for fare from Leeds to London when emigration comes through via American Consulate in London; arrived in London on 19 December 1939; went to accommodation and to Labour Exchange to be registered for work; interviews at factories; visit to Bloomsbury House

Submitted by Ronnie Wolf, for the Wolf Family, on behalf of our father

……………………………….

“In the Fall of 2009, I came across a postcard in my deceased Aunt Edith’s home. In 2010, I had the postcard translated. I was studying it and noticed that the original address to Kitchener Camp had been crossed out but there was a forwarding address.  I Googled that address and there, staring back at me, was my dad at the age of 17! Unbelievable! Dad died in 1971 and had never spoken about his childhood. 

This is when I started my exploration into dad’s past. We hadn’t discovered his Diary until a year and a half later. But by then I had done a lot of research on his stay in England and uncovered his connection to ORT

Additionally, I had discovered that he left England for New York on May 22, 1940, three days before his 18th birthday, to join his father, mother, and two sisters. Lucky for him, otherwise several months later, he would have been considered an enemy alien and been among the 40 ORT “Old Boys” shipped off to interment camps.

In 2013 I attended a ceremony in Leeds, England, when a Historic Blue Plaque was placed on their hostel. British ORT had lots of info about the ORT Old Boys posted around the room. I had a chance to meet a few Old Boys but sadly only two remembered dad.

Dad joined the US Army Corps of Engineers (due to his ORT training) in December 1941. He was in the second wave of D-Day, and returned to New York City in December 1945. He married my mother on January 25, 1946.”

Submitted by Ronnie Wolf