'In November 1938 arrest, jail, and concentration camp followed'

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'In November 1938 arrest, jail, and concentration camp followed'


Peter remembers being imprisoned and sent to a concentration camp in Germany in 1938, before fortunately acquiring a visa for England and living in a refugee camp there.


Peter Layton


Trinity College Dublin




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Peter Layton

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Adolescence and Early Adulthood


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In 1938 my brother and sister had already left for England,but my father and I were arrested-they called it protective custody. In November 1938 arrest,jail,and concentration camp followed. When my father and I were arrested,we spent a few days at the local police station. After few days in the local police station,my father was released because of his service in the army in the first world war,I then was sent to Hamburg prison,but as we did not live in the city,was then sent to Kiel prison. Apparently one had to be in the right prison. This was luxurious-a cell of my own,and a book to read- the bible- my first acquaintance with it,and for nothing better to do,I read it of course. Unfortunately this was not to last,and I was shipped to a concentration camp near Berlin. In the meantime my mother was busy trying to get a visa in England for me and my oldest brother-who had learning difficulties,and had a deformed leg due to polio. She managed to get a visa for me. I was released with the proviso that I had to leave the country within a fortnight.


Irish Research Council for Arts,Humanities & Social Sciences (IRCHSS)

Research Coordinator/P.I.

Dr Kathleen McTiernan (Trinity College Dublin)

Senior Research Associate

Dr Deirdre O'Donnell (Trinity College Dublin)


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