Werner Joseph Hirsch was born in March 1907, in Dortmund, Germany.
Werner worked as Manager for textile company Mendelsohn & Kugelman in Oschersleben, Bode, until 8 October 1938.
He then moved to work at GUBI (a Jewish-owned department store) in Lüneburg, until he was arrested on 10th November 1938. Werner was deported and imprisoned in Sachsenhausen until 9th January 1939. GUBI was destroyed during the November ’38 events, along with the town’s only other remaining Jewish-owned store – a shoe shop.
Werner managed to gain a place in Kitchener camp in England and arrived in Dover on 16 May 1939. When war was declared a few months later, he joined the Pioneer Corps and served with the British Army.
Presumably around 1943, Werner changed his name to Warner Hurst. He was discharged on the grounds of ill health on 10th April 1944, when he contracted tuberculosis.
Submitted by Harry Hurst, for his father, Werner Hirsch
Harry notes, “The man with the pipe, above, is Alexander Guhrauer. I knew him as ‘Uncle’ Alec, and he and his wife Hella were best friends of my parents. They had no children and were always wonderful to me. But, I never knew the connection” until now.