Werner was born in Cologne, Germany in 1926. In June 1939, he fled Germany to come to England with his parents and older sister, Ruth.
The family never understood how their visas were granted without the obligatory financial guarantee from Britain. In 1990, Werner discovered that they were likely helped by British Secret Intelligence Service officer, Frank Foley, who had signed and issued visas without guarantees in his undercover job as a passport control officer.
Werner was separated from his family at first and placed with different families. He worked in clothing manufacturing for over 50 years.
In 1953, he married Claire, and they had a daughter, Joanne. Claire died tragically before Joanne turned two. In 1962 in Holland, he married Ruth, a fellow survivor originally from Hamburg. She moved to Manchester, and they went on to have two children, Sharon, and Martin. Werner has nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
“I first noticed trouble when I had to leave my state school and go to a Jewish one in 1934 when I was seven or eight. It wasn’t because the school wanted to get rid of me, but because the government passed a law that Jewish children had to be educated separately.”
“By the time war broke out, over 300,000 Jews had fled Germany, including 40 percent of the Jews in Cologne. They left because there was no way to earn a livelihood. They had to make new lives for themselves all over the world.”
“When I think back to what could have been, I am eternally grateful to this country, and I am sure that much of that gratitude is due to Frank Foley.”