image for Alice Redlich

A photograph of Alice Redlich taken in Berlin in April 1937, where she was studying to become a paediatric nurse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Courtesy of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

In this account, Alice recalls her childhood in Germany and training as a nurse.
In this account, Alice recalls her childhood in Germany and training as a nurse.
This telegram was sent on 17 April 1942 from Alice to her father Georg, who had remained in Berlin. Six months later, on 26 October 1942, Georg was deported from Berlin to Riga with Alice’s mother Ella, where they were murdered shortly after arriving.
This telegram was sent on 17 April 1942 from Alice to her father Georg, who had remained in Berlin. Six months later, on 26 October 1942, Georg was deported from Berlin to Riga with Alice’s mother Ella, where they were murdered shortly after arriving.
Here, Alice describes her experiences as a nurse in London during the war.
Here, Alice describes her experiences as a nurse in London during the war.
During the war, on 26 March 1943, Alice became one the first volunteers to apply to work with the Jewish Committee for Relief Abroad (JCRA), an Anglo-Jewish charity which sought to help Jews in the aftermath of the war in Europe. This image shows Alice’s original application form.
During the war, on 26 March 1943, Alice became one the first volunteers to apply to work with the Jewish Committee for Relief Abroad (JCRA), an Anglo-Jewish charity which sought to help Jews in the aftermath of the war in Europe. This image shows Alice’s original application form.
Alice was dispatched by the JCRA to work with Jews in Belsen, where she met and married fellow Berliner Hans Finke, who worked for the American Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). They emigrated to America in 1949.
Alice was dispatched by the JCRA to work with Jews in Belsen, where she met and married fellow Berliner Hans Finke, who worked for the American Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). They emigrated to America in 1949.
Alice and Hans Finke’s wedding invitation.
Alice and Hans Finke’s wedding invitation.
Alice and Hans Finke’s wedding invitation.
Alice and Hans Finke’s wedding invitation.
Hans Finke and Alice Redlich in the Bergen-Belsen DP camp.
Hans Finke and Alice Redlich in the Bergen-Belsen DP camp.

 

Courtesy of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Alice Finke (née Redlich), was born on 12 August 1920 in Berlin to Georg and Ella Redlich.

After attending school, Alice’s father encouraged her to train in a ‘practical’ career and, with the help of local community organisations, Alice became a registered children’s nurse in April 1938.

Later that year, amid the rising danger for Jews in Germany, a cousin in England secured work for Alice in a hospital in Greenwich. After travelling for two days, Alice arrived in London to news of the devastation of Kristallnacht (an anti-Jewish pogrom) on 11 November 1938.

Throughout the war Alice continued to work for the hospital and in November 1942 she passed her final exams to become a state registered nurse, following which she specialised in fever nursing. In 1943, Alice volunteered to join the Jewish Committee for Relief Abroad, an Anglo-Jewish relief organisation set up to aid Jews in the aftermath of the war, and she was deployed to Bergen-Belsen with the organisation in September 1946. In Belsen, Alice met her future husband, a fellow Berlin Jew and survivor, Hans Finke.

Throughout the war, it had become increasingly difficult for Alice to communicate with her family in Berlin, and her last contact with her parents was in 1942. After the war, Alice discovered that her parents, brother, grandparents and other family members had all been murdered by the Nazis.

In the summer of 1947, Alice became a British citizen, and the following year, on 20 June 1948, married Hans Finke. In 1949 the couple moved to Chicago, United States of America, and became American citizens in 1955. They had four children together.