Drawing of people in a garden by Hanka

Children's art: Drawing of people in a garden

Alice Goldberger (1897-1986) was born in Berlin, Germany. Trained as a youth-work instructor, she ran a shelter for disadvantaged children and their families. When Hitler came to power, Alice, who was Jewish, had to give up her post. She immigrated to England in 1939. When war broke out, Alice was interned on the Isle of Man as an enemy alien. While there, she organized a children's facility.

Hearing of Alice's work in the camp, psychoanalyst Anna Freud (daughter of Sigmund Freud) intervened to secure her release. Alice then became the superintendent of a nursery for the children of working wartime mothers. In 1945, after the end of the war and the liberation of Nazi camps, Alice became caretaker, advocate, and teacher to 24 refugee children who were brought to England and were ultimately housed in an estate called Weir Courtney. She worked diligently to create a childhood for these young survivors of horrific experiences during the Holocaust. As Alice herself wrote in 1957: "I wanted the children to feel that the world is still full of good and friendly people, who stretch their hand across oceans and wide countries to help their fellowmen."  

This is one of the colorful pieces of art created by children at Weir Courtney, reflecting happier times under Alice's care.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, gift of Judith Sherman
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