Rudkin, Grete

Date of Birth:
1930
Date of Death:
1972
Rudkin, Grete

Grete Rudkin was born Grete Glauber in Vienna in 1930. She grew up in an apartment on Augarten Strasse. Her mother, Elsa Glauber, was unmarried but had a boyfriend called Wilhelm Knapp who helped her to bring up Grete. Knapp was also Elsa's cousin, and Grete knew him as Uncle Willi.

In 1939, Elsa sent Grete to England on the Kindertransport. Their Catholic neighbour Marie Miserowsky, a friend of the family whom they knew by the nickname of 'Tetamamma', helped to make the necessary arrangements. Like thousands of other Jewish children from across Austria, Germany and Czechoslovakia, Grete took the train to Holland and then a ferry to England, escaping just in time to avoid the worst horrors of Nazism.

Grete came to stay with Olive Rudkin, a Quaker schoolteacher who lived in Enfield. She attended local schools - Enfield Collegiate School and then Enfield County School for Girls - where she was soon doing well at her work. Like many London children, Grete was evacuated out of the city to avoid the German bombing raids. She went to Dartmouth, where she enjoyed the clean country air.

Being a Christian, Olive Rudkin was not able to continue Grete's education in the Jewish religion. In fact, she took Grete with her to church. Many of the refugee children who came on the Kindertransport lost touch with their religion in this way, which was often a cause for concern among the authorities.

Elsa Glauber remained in Austria, although there is evidence that she was in Poland by late 1942. She did not survive the war. Willi Knapp went to Nice in the south of France, where he stayed after the war.

Grete took British citizenship and was adopted by Olive Rudkin, becoming Grete Rudkin. She trained and worked as a primary school teacher, until her death in 1972.

Alternate Names

  • Glauber, Grete

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