Letter: Unsung heroes of German resistance

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The Independent Online
Sir: Amid the recognition of the courage of anti-Nazi Germans, may I commend Herr and Frau Fuchs? When I married in 1952, my husband and I took two rooms in the attic of 1 Fitzroy Street, Cambridge. The Fuchses were our landlords. He played the violin all day and she read philosophy. As we came to know them, she told us their story.

He had been mayor of Breslau and since 1933 had arranged for Jews and other resistors to leave the country when their lives were threatened. Finally, in 1938, she came to England and set up 1 Fitzroy Street as a first refuge, while he remained behind and escaped only just in time after the outbreak of war. Their comfortable intellectual lives had been totally destroyed by all this, and they lived in penury, letting cheap rooms to students.

As far as we knew, none of those who had been helped ever returned or communicated. And yet both of them said that they had to do something, because they had been so ashamed that their 'beautiful Germany' had permitted such crimes to arise and to continue. They said most people knew what was happening, but few acted, and those who did were hunted down and destroyed. Which was why they set up their escape route. There must be dozens of such unsung heroes, and hundreds who owe their lives to those few.

Yours sincerely,


Tollesbury, Essex