Berthold Ungermunz – Memories

My father Berthold Ungermunz arrived in the  Kitchener Camp in April 1939. I have discovered in a letter that he wrote that he was in Hut 8. My uncle Fritz Otto Reichman was also in Kitchener Camp. They both came from Vienna.

My father was born in Vienna on 7th April 1912. He spent three months in Dachau and was released and given three months to leave Austria. He tried to get to Switzerland but was sent back at the border.

He joined the Pioneer Corps whilst at the camp and was transferred to the R.E.M.E. because he was a highly skilled leather worker. Like many who enlisted from the camp he was advised to change his name and became Underwood. 

I have recently been researching our family history and have always wanted to know the circumstances of how my father got permission to come to England. When he left Vienna my father did not expect to see his girlfriend Kathe Singer again. But my mother and her mother got permission to come as domestic servants. Within weeks of their arrival they got married at Margate Synagogue on 16th December 1939. So there may well have been a subdued wedding party at the camp.

My grandfather and aunt Lydia Reichman (née Ungermunz) were deported from Vienna to Riga. My grandfather did not survive.

Kindly submitted by Denis Underwood for his father Berthold Ungermunz