Many followers of this page will have read Thomas Harding's 'Hanns and
Rudolf: The German Jew and the Hunt for the Kommandant of Auschwitz.' It
relates the story of Lieutenant Hanns Alexander, who was tasked by the
British War Crimes Investigation Team to hunt for senior Nazis. He and his
team eventually captured Rudolf Höss. Hanns Alexander was a German Jewish refugee who arrived in the UK in the late 1930s and would eventually see military service with the British army. In early 1940 the British introduced a policy of mass internment of newly arrived refugees. This had an impact on the family of Hanns Alexander and provides a somewhat tenuous link between his family and the Höss family. Erich Hirschowitz (by then calling himself Harding) was the brother-in-law of Hanns Alexander. On 19 July 1940 he was arrested at his home in London and the next day he was transferred to an internment camp near the town of Whitchurch in Shropshire, England. A few days ago Rainer was taken by Simon to explore the perimeter of where the tented camp once was. It is somewhat hidden from view, with no markers indicating its existence. Only a few derelict military buildings remain, but it was fascinating to look around this place, knowing that it had a connection to the past of the man who captured Rudolf Höss.
- Written by Simon Bell