Anita Lasker leaving Belsen
Anita Lasker was a German Jew and Aushwitz-survivor who was forced to stay at Belsen until she could secure a much sought-after travel permit. Hanns met her at a Boxing Day dance, and helped her and her sister to escape.
At a Boxing Day dance at the Belsen Displaced Persons Camp, Hanns noticed an attractive-looking young woman sitting in the corner. She had shoulder-length brown hair and differed from many in the room in that she hadn’t dressed up for the occasion. Hanns introduced himself and asked her to dance. As they swirled around the dance floor, she told him that her name was Anita Lasker and that, from time to time, she helped the British with translating. She too was a German Jew and had been deported to Auschwitz, only surviving by playing the cello in the Women’s Orchestra. Like the other thousands of former inmates who were still living in Belsen, the two sisters had been unable to secure travel permits to another country. Anita said that if Hanns could get them as far as Brussels, they could then make their own way to London. He agreed and they made plans to meet at the main gate at seven the next morning. Anita then returned to her barracks and stayed up all night forging documents which she hoped would help her out of the country: ‘The above mentioned ex-internee of Belsen Concentration Camp is authorized to travell [sic] to Brussels in order to complete repatriation procedure. She is to travel in the custody of Capt. Alexander 12–27–45.’ At seven the next morning, Anita and her sister waited nervously by the camp’s main guard post. As the minutes went by, she watched the guard raise and lower the red-and-white-striped barrier, allowing trucks to enter and leave the camp. But Hanns was nowhere to be seen. Anita began to think that she had imagined the conversation from the night before. She was just about to give up hope, when Hanns pulled up in a large dark green Mercedes-Benz. ‘Sorry,’ he said, ‘I slept in.’
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