Generations of asylum seekers

With this family history behind me, questions of immigration are never far from my mind. I owe my existence to the generosity of the UK in taking in generations of refugees, as well as the kindness
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Like many people of Jewish ancestry of my age, I’m descended from three generations of asylum seekers. My paternal grandfather, George Polakoff, was born, according to family legend, in Brick Lane in London’s East End. His parents had fled the pogroms in Poland in the late 1800s. He married my grandmother Betty (Rivkah) Yauner, who claimed she was born on the ship coming to England but in fact was born in what is now the Ukraine, her family also leaving in flight from persecution. My father, Herbert Wolff, came to England at the age of 8, with his older sister, on the Kindertransport, as a refugee from Nazi Germany. His parents disappeared not long after. Passenger lists show that they were put on a train from Frankfurt to Lodz, but there are no further records. It was not uncommon for the Jews in the transport to be murdered on route rather than taken to the ghetto and then to the camps. Perhaps a preferable fate. With this family history behind me, questions of immigration are never. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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