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Some memories of Peveril Internment Camp, Peel, I.O.M. 1940' by Herbert Kaden with accompanying documentation

Date(s): 1990s

Creator(s): Kaden, Herbert; Cresswell, Yvonne

Scope & Content: Kaden's memoir is a three page account, written in 1993. It is accompanied by correspondence between Kaden and Yvonne Cresswell, MNH curator from July to September 1993 which includes additional reminiscences and information about donated artwork (1993-0235/1-3) and a photograph (PG/11279).

The handwritten, illustrated account by Kaden recounts the transfer from Warth Mill Camp, Bury, Lancs to the Isle of Man, his impressions of the camp in Peel and his fellow internees. He explains that having been brought up a Lutheran he attended Lutheran services in the camp (he became a Catholic in 1950 and a monk in 1971). He writes of his regret at not taking the opportunity to learn more from his Jewish co-internees; also of his mixed emotions on release and difficulty adjusting on his return to Gloucestershire where he stayed with his aunt and uncle. On the second page is an ink sketch of an armed guard outside the barbed wire. Within his 4 September 1993 letter are two additional sketches as well as an account of his departure from Germany in June 1938, aged 17. In this letter he also recalls his life in England before and after internment, as well as the circumstances of his detainment.

Administration / Biographical History: Brother Herbert (25 January 1921-1 October 2022) was born to a Jewish mother in Dresden, Germany. His father came from a Lutheran military family; according to the wish of his Lutheran grandparents he was baptised (he was baptised again in adult life as a Baptist and then as a Roman Catholic). Raised by his mother, Kaden came with her to England from Dresden in the late 1930s to escape Nazi persecution. Interned as an enemy alien during the Second World War he spent time in the Isle of Man.

After internment he worked as a potter at Prinknash Priory, Gloucestershire and then as a gardener for the Roman Catholic seminary, St Edmund's House, Cambridge. After the war, with his mother he befriended some German POWs who had been held at Trumpington POW Camp on the outskirts of Cambridge.

After the death of his mother in 1971 he sought monastic life at Prinknash, serving there as a monk for eleven years before moving in 1983 to Turvey Abbey, Bedfordshire.

For an obituary by Johan Barber in the Independent Catholic News of 1 November 2022 see

Language: English

Extent: 1 folder

Item name: memoirs, correspondence

Collection: Manuscript Archive

Level: FILE

ID number: MS 12596

Record class: Private

Access conditions: No regulations or restrictions are implemented on this material. Advance notification of a research visit is advisable by emailing


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