News » Beit Emanuel Progressive Synagogue - news
Dora Love, grandmother of Thandi Love Nhlapo, and mother of Janet Love Nhlapo, died on 26 October, in England, aged 89. She spoke recently spoken at a Torah breakfast at Beit Emanuel about her experiences in the Nazi death camps. She was in South Africa to celebrate Thandi’s bat mitzvah.
Dora Love was born and brought up in Memel, now Kleipeda, Lithuania. In March 1939 when Dora was 16, SS troops invaded Memal, and Dora and her family fled east but the German advance soon caught up with them and they were imprisoned, first in Shaulen ghetto in northern Lithuania. Dora, her mother, sister and one of her two brothers were later sent to Stutthof concentration camp near Gdansk, Poland, where her mother sister and brother died. Dora’s father was sent to Dachau and her brother had managed to get to Russia and both survived, although in her brother’s case Dora was not aware of his survival until 16 years after the war ended.
After the war, Dora married Frank Love, one of the English soldiers engaged in the liberation. She worked for the British Army, the United Nations and the American Joint Distribution Committee in various reconstructions and resettlement projects, as well as translating for the War Crimes trials.
The project of which she is most proud is the establishment of the home for Jewish children at Blankenese, a suburb of Hamburg on the Elbe. Remembering scenes of Jewish parents in Stutthof handing their children, together with anything of value that they possessed, over to the safekeeping of local gentiles, Dora was determined to locate those children and, where possible, unite them with any family members who survived or, where this was not possible, send them to Palestine, as it was then.