Marianne was born in 1924 in Berlin, Germany. She had a happy Jewish childhood with her parents and brother, Herbert, who was born in 1930. After the rise of Hitler in 1933, Marianne was ostracised in school, and Jewish businesses were boycotted. In 1936, Marianne’s mother became seriously ill and died. Marianne and Herbert were placed in a Jewish orphanage, and it was here that she met her future husband, Harry.

After Kristallnacht in November 1938, Marianne left the orphanage and returned to live with her father. Her aunt arranged for her to come to England, and in August 1939 she left Berlin on the Kindertransport. Harry had made the same journey six months previously. On arrival in England, Marianne travelled to a rural village in Somerset to stay with her hosts, the Rutter family. She worked as a domestic help and nanny and began to learn English. Mrs Rutter tried to find Herbert a place in England too but had to abandon this idea due to the imminent declaration of war.

In 1940, Marianne moved to London, where she settled in a Jewish Refugee hostel, began work, took up hobbies and rekindled her Jewish life. Marianne and Harry were reunited and eventually married in 1943. They bought their first home in Maidenhead and had two children. Marianne became a dressmaker, owning her own business. She later moved to Manchester to be closer to her children and four grandchildren.


“Though I did not know what was at stake, to this day I can still feel the atmosphere in the room. I had not long to wait to find out what it was all about. Friends at school had been told to avoid me – the Jewish girl – and would not talk or play with me as before.”

“I shall never forget my father’s last hug for as long as I live.”

“Yesterday has gone, today is here, and tomorrow may come has been our motto. We will always look into the future.”