Henry K.

Everything was lost

Henry K. was born in Vienna as Heinrich K. on 14 September 1914. He lived in the 9th District of Vienna with his parents Adolf and Rosa. After the “Anschluss”, Henry’s father lost his factory and they had to flee Nazi persecution.

As a Jew I was subject to restriction of movement and general threats by Nazis.

My father Adolf was part-owner of a textile factory in Kaiserebersdorf [1], Vienna, in the name of “Rudolf Hohenberg” [2]. As a result of the Nazi “Anschluss”, this property was lost, thereby depriving myself (and my father) of a future career and income. I therefore had to leave for racial, religious and economic reasons.

My father and mother were lost at sea after leaving Austria. Thus everything was lost.

Henry K. was able to leave Europe on an Africa-bound ship departing from Italy. In Africa he met his future wife and his daughter Ann was born. In 1967 the family moved to New Zealand. In a letter to the National Fund, Ann describes her father’s and family’s further life journey:

My father went to Nyasaland, now Malawi [3], where he joined a school friend. He eventually worked for the British Colonial Service building roads and bridges. He met and married my mother, Hilda Rebecca B., a British subject who was working there as a nurse. They were married in 1947. I was born in 1949 in Tanganyika, now Tanzania [4], because Mbeya [5] was the nearest hospital. I have no siblings. I was brought up in Malawi.

We left Africa for New Zealand in 1967 because my parents felt that the political situation was unfavourable and was likely to lead to trouble in the future. This however, was in no way related to the reason my father had left Austria in 1938. My father continued to work until his retirement in 1974 or thereabouts.

My father lived to the age of almost 92 years old and my mother 95 years old.

[1] Part of the 11th District of Vienna.
[2] Rudolf Hohenberg was the name of the factory producing upholstery fabric, bedding and plush fabrics and was situated at Dreherstraße 5 in the 11th District of Vienna.
[3] Nyasaland was a British Protectorate from 1907 onward, then part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland from 1953 until 1963. In 1964 it gained its independence from Britain and was renamed Malawi.
[4] The historical East African state of Tanganyika became part of German East Africa in 1891. In 1920 it became a British mandate and went on to gain its independence in 1961. In 1964 the two separate African states Tanganyika and Zanzibar united to form the present-day United Republic of Tanzania.
[5] City in southwestern Tanzania.