Gabriele Keenaghan BEM

Gabriele was born in Vienna in 1926. Her mother was Christian but she was unaware that her father was Jewish until she was forced to leave her convent school and wear a yellow star. She never saw her father again after Kristallnacht. Her grandmother made arrangements for her to leave Austria on the Kindertransport. She studied at teacher training college, and later became headmistress of a school in her home town of Newcastle. She married and had children who often returned with her to visit her grandmother in Vienna. Gabriele was appointed BEM for services to Holocaust education.

Gabriele Keenaghan BEM

This was the first time I realised that I was different to my friends. They were sent together to a school somewhere else in the district but I was singled out and made to stand to one side. I just couldn’t understand it or know what to make of it. I felt frightened and lost.

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