Menachem ‘Manny’ Silver and Stella Silver















Manny Silver was born in Leeds. He was a member of the youth movement Habonim and had worked with the Jewish children who had been evacuated from the East End in Devon, and then as the warden at Woodcote House in Ascot during the Blitz.

When he worked at Ascot, he was only slightly older than the Boys at just twenty-two years old. He recognised that for the Boys, survival had meant breaking the rules while in the concentration camps. At Ascot he tried to create a “co-operative lifestyle based on mutual respect”.

The Silver’s met at the Ascot hostel. Stella was the daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants and spoke Yiddish. The couple were married in Ascot.

The Committee for the Care of the Concentration Camp Children considered Ascot a failing hostel, so Silver was dismissed in June 1946. The Boys were so angry that they went to Leonard Montefiore’s office in Bloomsbury Square, London to protest. Nevertheless, Silver was replaced.

After leaving Woodcote House he and his wife went to work with Jewish refugees in Austria. He worked as a relief worker with the American Joint Jewish Joint Distribution Committee as the Director of Displaced Person Homes in Stroble, Austria 1946-1948. He played a role in the illegal Jewish underground movement known as the Bricha.

He and his wife, Stella, sailed from Italy for Palestine in 1948. After serving in the Israeli Defence Forces, he studied at the Teachers Seminary of Youth Aliyah in Jerusalem.

He cared for Jewish child refugees from North Africa. The Silvers then divorced and he then moved to the USA, where he continued to work in Jewish educational and communal services.

Silver, Stella and the Boys in Ascot

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