Beloved Kindertransport refugee Henry Wuga dies aged 100

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Beloved Kindertransport refugee Henry Wuga dies aged 100

Shoah educator who fled Nuremberg in May 1939 celebrated his centenary on 23rd February

Henry Wuga, May 2022
Henry Wuga, May 2022

Tributes have been paid to a much-loved Holocaust survivor who has died less than a month after his 100th birthday.

Henry Wuga, who fled to Scotland from Germany in 1938 on the historic Kindertransport, had only recently reached his milestone 100th birthday, in the same year as the Kindertransport’s 85th anniversary.

Born in Nuremberg in 1924, Henry was forced to leave school in Germany aged 14, after which he began an apprenticeship as a cook at the kosher kitchen of the Tannhäuser Hotel in Baden-Baden.

In May 1938, he was able to escape the country via the Kindertransport to Scotland, where he was interned as an “enemy alien” after the war began.

After ten months on the Isle of Man, Henry Wuga was released in spring 1941. Back in Glasgow, he attended the Refugee Club, where at the age of 18, he met his future wife and fellow Kindertransport refugee Ingrid Wolff.

Henry & Ingrid Wuga Oct 2017

Together, they ran a catering business together for 30 years and Ingrid was awarded a BEM for services to Holocaust education in 2019. She died in 2020 at the age of 96 years old.

Michael Newman, chief executive officer,  The Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR) said: “The AJR is deeply saddened to hear about the passing of AJR stalwart Henry Wuga and send our heartfelt condolences to his family. Henry, who recently celebrated his 100th birthday, was a much-loved member who came to the UK via the Kindertransport and went on to have an eminent career in catering and became a beacon of his local community in Glasgow.

“We are grateful to have had the opportunity to capture Henry’s testimony as part of our Refugee Voices archive. Capturing experiences like Henry’s helps preserve the record of the Holocaust and enables us all learn about his remarkable life and the contribution he made to his adopted home.

Karl Wuga, Lore Wuga and Henry approx 1932 (Henry with his parents outside their family home in Nuremburg. Pic: AJR

“We will miss him greatly and are honoured to continue to tell his story as part of our work”.

Kirsten Oswald MP, East Renfrewshire said: “I am deeply saddened to learn of Henry Wuga’s passing. Henry was a truly remarkable man and his loss will be felt by all those fortunate enough to have encountered him.

“With his beloved wife Ingrid, Henry ensured that generations of young people in Scotland, the UK, and the wider world, were aware of the horrors of the Holocaust and the dangers of hatred. His work on Holocaust Education has been remarkable and hugely influential.

Ingrid and Henry Wuga with First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon. Pic: HET

“My thoughts are with Henry’s family and friends. May his memory be a blessing.”

Karen Pollock, chief executive, the Holocaust Educational Trust said: “I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of my dear friend, Henry Wuga MBE.

“Henry came to the UK from Germany on the Kindertransport in 1939 escaping the horrors of Kristallnacht and rising antisemitism. Together with his beloved wife, Ingrid – who had also come to the UK on the Kindertransport – they dedicated themselves to sharing their testimonies with students across Scotland and the UK.

Henry Wuga, Pic: Holocaust Educational Trust

“Henry was a warm and gentle man with an inspiring and important message to share. He was so kind and I was so proud and happy to celebrate his 100th birthday just last month.

“My thoughts go out to his two incredible daughters, his grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

“We will miss him greatly and are grateful for his decades of friendship and support.”

Henry and his late wife, Ingrid Wuga in 2017 (AJR). Ingrid passed away at the age of 96 years old, on 20 Oct 2020

Henry was awarded an MBE in 1999 for services to The Limbless British Ex-Servicemen’s Association.

The couple had two daughters, four grandsons, and two great-grandsons.

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