Persecutted Jews flee as servants





As the Nazis tightened their grip on power in the late 1930s, Jews in Germany and Austria began to fear for their safety. Many fled abroad using well-documented methods such as the Kindertransport. But less well known is the story of thousands of Jewish women who fled to the UK by getting jobs as domestic servants.

When Natalie Huss-Smickler arrived in England in 1938 as a 26-year-old, she found her new job as a domestic servant something of a shock compared with her secretarial work back home in Vienna.

"My first job in England was very, very hard," she says. "I had to work from 8am to 11pm with an hour's break, cleaning and scrubbing and looking after the house, with half a day off a week.

"After a few weeks I complained, saying it's a bit too hard. The lady of the house said, 'If it's too much for you, I'll send you back to Hitler.'"...



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