Anita Lasker-Wallfisch: Correspondence and papers
Anita Lasker was born in Breslau (now Wroclaw, Poland) on 17 July 1925. She was the youngest of three daughters of the Jewish lawyer Alfons Lasker and his wife Edith, a violinist. At the end of 1939 her oldest sister Marianne was brought to England. Renate and Anita stayed behind in Breslau. In 1942 Anita's parents were deported and murdered. The daughters were sent to an orphanage and had to work in a paper making factory. The girls tried to escape to France with forged passports but were captured and convicted of forgery. In December 1943 Anita was deported to Auschwitz. As a convicted criminal she escaped the mass transports of Jews and the gas chambers. Once it was known that she could play the cello she became a member of the women's orchestra at Auschwitz lead by Alma Rosé. Later on Renate joined Anita in Auschwitz. In November 1944 the members of the orchestra were moved to Bergen-Belsen which was liberated by allied troops on 15 April 1945.
Anita Lasker was a witness in the Bergen-Belsen trials in 1945.
After the Second World War she emigrated to Belgium and in 1946 to the UK. She was a co-founder of the London English Chamber Orchestra and played until 2000 as cellist.
She married pianist Peter Wallfisch (d 1993) with whom she had two children. She lives in London. Her son Raphael Wallfisch (b 1953) is a well known British cellist and her grandparents Benjamin and Simon are musicians. Her sister Renate was married to Klaus Harpprecht and lives in France.
It was not until 1994 that she visited Germany again. Since then she gives talks in German schools of her experiences of the holocaust.
She published 'Ihr sollt die Wahrheit erben - Die Cellistin von Auschwitz: Erinnerungen' in 1997
Assorted papers, correspondence, 1 folder
Donated June 2003
Donor: Anita Lasker-Wallfisch
Post-World War II papers and correspondence from Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, one of the last survivors of the women's orchestra of Auschwitz concentration camp.
Includes correspondence and press cuttings relating to the Holocaust exhibition at the Imperial War Museum in 2000 (1661/1) as well as correspondence with Gisela Langensee regarding her biographical account entitled 'Teschuwa' (1661/2) and Lasker-Wallfisch's publication 'Ihr sollt die Wahrheit erben' (1661/3). Also includes a copy of a speech held before a concert at Wigmore Hall, London on 8 November [?] (1661/4).