Family photographs of WW2 Jewish refugees in Newmarket donated to Suffolk Archives
The 'We Have To Move On' exhibition, on until Sunday 7 August, focuses on Jewish refugees living at the Palace House Stables hostel in Newmarket during WWII.
On Monday 25 July, Bungay resident Claire Duncan donated historic family photographs to Suffolk Archives’ Bury St Edmunds branch after recognising people featured in the ‘We Have to Move On’ exhibition at the National Horseracing Museum (NHRM).
After seeing publicity for the exhibition Mrs Duncan contacted Suffolk Archives to explain that she had old photographs, inherited from her parents, which included some of the people in the display.
The black and white photos were taken in June 1941 by Mrs Duncan’s father, William Barton, who was a conscientious objector.
He met Friedel Fanger, who had come to Britain with her parents as a Jewish refugee, through agricultural work during the war. The pair later married in William’s home village of Burwell, near Newmarket.
Friedel worked in a refugee hostel in Cambridge, however it is not clear what their connection was with the Palace House Stables hostel in Newmarket.
Hannah Salisbury, Community and Learning Officer (West Suffolk) at Suffolk Archives’ Bury St Edmunds branch, said:
“Claire has kindly decided to gift the photos to Suffolk Archives, where they will be preserved for present and future generations. Her photographs add to the research we’ve been doing with the NHRM for the ‘We Have to Move On’ project, over the last two years. These new photographs are the latest addition to the collection, and it’s great to put faces to some of the names which the project team have discovered.”
Mrs Duncan commented:
“I haven’t yet seen the exhibition yet, I’m hoping to soon and I know I’ll feel so proud that I was able to contribute to such an important story. I’d been wondering what to do with these photos, knowing that they would have meaning and importance, and shouldn’t just be sitting in an album unseen. I felt really glad that they will now be seen by future generations but also a little sad that they weren’t part of my family’s private photos anymore. My mother was also a German Jewish refugee who helped other refugees at the time, so it feels like a little bit of her is missing now. However she wouldn’t have been so sentimental!”
The 'We Have To Move On' project team has researched and shared the stories of refugees who found a safe home in Newmarket after fleeing Nazi-occupied areas of Europe.
The photos are on the Suffolk Archives website.
About We Have To Move On
The 'We Have To Move On' exhibition is on at NHRM until 7 August. Visit the NHRM website to book tickets.
The exhibition is part of a broader project, which also included a recent dance performance and a classical concert, inspired by a memoir written by one of the refugees, Fritz Ball, a copy of which was deposited at Suffolk Archives by Fritz’s granddaughter in 2020.
The initiative recently worked with local young people and Britten Sinfonia to share the refugees’ story through two concerts which took place at NHRM. The video of the first concert is available on the Suffolk Archives YouTube channel. The second one will be available soon.