Fascinating Archive Revolutionises Space Exploration: From Fleeing Hitler to Southampton

Posted on May 31, 2023

The life story of a teenager who fled Nazi persecution on the Kindertransport and went on to become a world-renowned physicist is told through his archive, on show for the first time at the University of Southampton.

Photos, letters and documents that belonged to Ben Abeles make up the unique and fascinating collection.

The archive contains short telegram-style letters between a teenaged Ben, evacuated to London aged 14 on a Kindertransport train in 1939, and his family back in Czechoslovakia. One, addressed to Ben’s father Ernest and dated 29 September 1941, reads: “Am healthy. Working in kitchen. With Stefan’s help perhaps opening little snack bar. Love to you.”

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