Bertha Bracey

Bracey was one of the first aid workers on the ground in Germany after the end of hostilities in 1945. After the war, she was made responsible for women’s affairs in the British and American Zones of Occupation, a post she occupied until 1953.

She was with the first group of the Boys in Theresienstadt and flew with them to the Windermere reception centre and was in charge of the operation to bring the children to the UK.

Bracey was born in Worcestershire, England in 1893. Bracey joined the Society of Friends – the Quakers – when she was eighteen years old.

Bracey became the Director of the Emergency Committee of the Society of Friends. The Quakers played a key role in the pre-war Kindertransports and in caring for refugees.

In 1934, she helped establish a school for German Jewish children in the castle of Eerde in Holland.

Bracey also helped found the Stoatley Rough school for German refugees in Haslemere in England. She found a donor for the school building, chaired the board of governors from 1938 to 1945 and continued as a governor of the school until 1960.

In 1999, a rose was dedicated to her at the Beth Shalom Holocaust Centre. In 2010, she was posthumously recognised as a British Hero of the Holocaust.

Bracey died in 1989.

This profile was written by Ruby Kwartz.

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