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Enemy of the State???

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Enemy of the State???

Postby Grumpyhumpy » Mon Jan 02, 2017 12:56 pm

I am trying to chase down the story of my G/Grandfather as it was told by my Grandmother his name was Hermann Leiser.
He was born in Wurttenburg Germany around 1880 and married my G/Grandmother Bertha (Hague) in 1906 (I have a copy of their marriage cert).
When the war started he was reputedly given the choice of going into an internment camp or going back to Germany, he took the later choice and left his family of his wife and three children in Manchester never to be heard of again.
I am struggling to find any evidence of whether people were given a "choice" or just rounded up and placed into the internment camps.

I would be very happy if anyone could help me with this.
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Re: Enemy of the State???

Postby Sylcec » Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:47 pm

I can't find his name in the National Archives 'Discovery' catalogue. It would seem that he never took British citizenship (or he wouldn't have been interned/deported).
Have you found any reference to him in Manchester newspapers or local archives?
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Re: Enemy of the State???

Postby carobradford » Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:59 pm

I believe that the Aliens Restrictions Order of 1914 did allow enemy aliens to return to their home country. The article at ... n_Act_1914 may be helpful.
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Re: Enemy of the State???

Postby Grumpyhumpy » Tue Jan 03, 2017 4:29 pm

My Nan never mentioned whether he ever got nationalised or not but from reading the link below he could have been called up from Germany to fight for them and with all of the unrest he must of felt he had little choice, either being potentially sent to a POW camp or going back to Germany and take his chances.
I presume his wife being British didn't have any problems.

My next job is trying to find him in any of the German records.

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Re: Enemy of the State???

Postby sbaileycooper » Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:02 pm

There is a Hermann Leiser registered in Buchenfeld, Baden Wurttenberg on 21 Jan 1878. He was baptised in the Lutheran church on 23 Jan 1878. His parents were Michael and Katharina.
Don't know if this helps?
My grandfather came to this country in 1903 at the age of 18, but was given the choice of being interned, returned or working in the Labour Corps in WW1. he chose the latter! he also had married a British woman and was never naturalised.
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Re: Enemy of the State???

Postby Grumpyhumpy » Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:40 pm

Hi, thanks for looking but his father was listed as Fredrich (deceased) on his wedding certificate.
I would like to visit Wurttenburg some day but need to get some more details.

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Re: Enemy of the State???

Postby GregScowen » Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:39 pm

This won't be an easy one for you.

Unfortunately, Württemberg is a really big area and church records are often still held in individual church areas or archives. Without knowing more precisely where Friedrich was living when Hermann was born, it is potentially a long and difficult search.

I see the 1911 Census confirms the birth date around 1880 which is nice to have two records confirming the same (with marriage cert).

The usual sites just do bring up a lot of Leiser births but none of these really fit. However, there will be hundreds more that we just don't get to see - it appears to be quite a common name in the region.

Do you know, by chance, if Hermann was Jewish? I did find a few records of a Hermann Weiser that was born 06.01.1880 who was sent as a POW to the Balkans in the 40's. It seems a stretch to think he might have lived through to WW2 without ever going back to his family in the UK. But perhaps he was somehow incarcerated?

Otherwise, I also found numerous WW1 death listings of Herman Leisers at Ancestry, but none of these have any identifying information that could help further to know if it was your Hermann.

In any case, I speak fluent German and work for a huge library in Switzerland so sometimes can access records at various archives (assuming they are online). If I can help further with any specific documents you come across, let me know. It looks like an interesting challenge.
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