Hermann is a 93-year-old living in Essex. Hermann, an Austrian, was a refugee at 14-years-old and started his UK life in a Lancashire children’s home.
Hermann lived with his mother and father in Vienna. On 12 March 1938, Austria was annexed to Nazi Germany – the Anschluss. Because he had a Jewish father, Hermann’s life changed forever. Hermann was in imminent danger if he stayed in Austria. In June of 1939, along with 69 other boys, Hermann was brought over to England through the initiative of Revd Henry Carter, a Methodist minister.
Hermann became a refugee because of ‘Nazi Oppression’ the identity given to him by this new English country.
At first, Hermann could speak no English but was cared for and educated by a Christian community through his young adult years enabling him to establish his own new life. He wishes that he had not been forced to leave his home. He wishes that he was not separated from his family. He wishes he was not a refugee. But he was one of the lucky ones. He made the most of the care he was given, and he chose to beresilient amid disappointment, to demonstrate diligence amid opportunity – and to show forgiveness amid hateful violence.
Hermann did all he could given his circumstances. Rev Henry Carter did all he could. The Methodist people responded the best way they could. And, like so many in Hermann’s story, All We Can continues to do what it can as it seeks to respond to the injustices of this world.
Leaving a legacy of love
When asked whether people should still help people displaced in the world today because of discrimination and conflict Hermann answered with an emphatic yes and said, “because we are all human beings”.
The legacy of love that Methodists gave in 1938 is still having an impact today – Help us continue to change the world for families facing displacement, discrimination, poverty and injustice.