Agnes Grunwald-Spier joined Uxbridge Library on Saturday 28th January 2017 to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.
Before discussing her book Who Betrayed the Jews, Agnes Grunwald-Spier introduced herself and her family’s involvement with the Holocaust. Agnes was born in Budapest in 1944, the same year that the Nazis invaded Hungary.
Agnus was held in the Budapest ghetto for three months. The Prussians liberated Budapest in 1945 and she escaped with her family to Vienna and then finally came to England in 1947. It was not until Agnes reached her 50s that she decided to research into the Holocaust, encouraged by the awareness that her children seemed typically English but had a bigger history.
In presenting her book Who Betrayed the Jews, Agnes Grunwald-Spier wanted to make it clear that even Jewish soldiers who had fought in the First World War and Jewish Olympians who had won medals for their countries were not safe from betrayal by the state.
One of the most disturbing stories Agnes told from her book Who Betrayed the Jews? was of Otto Deutsch. Otto’s father, Victor, fought in the First World War with a man Otto would grow up to consider an Uncle. This man later betrayed Otto’s father on the night of Kristallnacht when he and the Hitler Youth took Victor away.
Through her family photographs and anecdotes Agnes Grunwald-Spier brought a new awareness to the disturbing facts and figures we know about the Holocaust. One photo, from her son’s wedding day in 2008, revealed the tragic loss of not just immediate life in the Holocaust but of the future generations.
We would like to thank Agnes Grunwald-Spier for her illuminating talk on Who Betrayed the Jews.
The book is available to borrow from Hillingdon Libraries or to purchase from book stores.
By Mark – Uxbridge Library