Remembering Dr Kurt Erich Glauber


04 July 2023
Helen Ely and Andrew Beal, volunteers at the Ipswich War Memorial project, talk to Family Tree about a project to tell the story of an Austrian doctor and his connection with wartime Ipswich.

Helen and Andrew, volunteers at the Ipswich War Memorial project talk to Family Tree about a project to tell the story of an Austrian doctor and his connection with wartime Ipswich. They write:

Last August, we were contacted by Rachel Field, a volunteer at the Suffolk Archives - The Hold, Ipswich. Rachel had been asked as a project to research the Jewish refugees who had fled their homes and made Newmarket, Suffolk, their new home around the time of the Second World War. Her article was later published in the Suffolk Archives newsletter. Rachel lives in Ipswich and on her own initiative, began to research any Jewish refugees in Ipswich and stumbled across Dr Kurt Erich Glauber. Rachel discovered that Kurt is not commemorated on any war memorial in the town. She asked if we could add Kurt's story to our website.  

Dr Glauber's story

Dr Kurt Erich Glauber, born in Vienna, Austria was a Jewish refugee who came to Ipswich in the late 1930s. Kurt became a lodger at 277, Norwich Road, Ipswich, the family home of recently widowed Helen Margaret Barber. In 1943, Kurt became an MI6 agent and returned to Europe. He was betrayed, arrested and murdered in April 1945, at a concentration camp in Austria, aged 42. 

After our own research for extra snippets of information, we created a profile page for Kurt and added the information to our free website

On 2 April this year we added Kurt's story as our daily post on our Facebook page and as these things sometimes do, Kurt's story was spread far and wide, until it was eventually sent to Mr. Martin Sugarman of the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women of the UK.

Martin works closely with the President of the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation. Together (historical interpretive markers and memorials reflecting on the British Jewish experience). 

Martin contacted us and expressed their wishes to place a memorial for Kurt somewhere in Ipswich. First, it was suggested at Norwich Road, Ipswich - the family home of the Barber family. Sadly, this was not possible. The ideas then moved to Ipswich Old Cemetery, and after much negotiation, a memorial headstone in black polish marble with gold lettering will be erected at the Cemetery in (it is hoped) September this year close to the C.W.G.C. two Fields of Honour. 

We (Helen and Andrew) have found Kurt's only nephew, Antony Japhet, who kindly shared his treasured family photographs of his Uncle Kurt (who he remembers) and gave his permission to allow us to use the photographs on Kurt's profile page. Antony with his family will travel to Ipswich to join Suffolk dignitaries and the people of Ipswich to witness an unveiling of the memorial headstone. The President of the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation also hopes to fly from his home in Florida to honour Kurt.

(Image courtesy of Antony Japhet)

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