Klara Tixell


Klara Tixell* was born in 1929 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Her father Leon was an accountant at a small wholesale company, and her Mother Betti took care of the household and Klara and her three siblings. The family was Jewish orthodox, and the children got a religious upbringing.

When Klara was seven, she got to know a non-Jewish girl from the neighbourhood called Kamma, and they became close friends.

* Klara's maiden name was Ruben.


Klara was ten years old when Nazi Germany occupied Denmark in spring 1940. German soldiers marched on the streets. Klara and her best friend Kamma went another way to avoid them. Sometimes a soldier came up and asked for direction. The girls then deliberately pointed out the wrong direction.

The curfew was difficult. When Klara visited someone, she didn't know if she could return home the same day, and therefore always took with her what she needed to stay the night.


On the night between October 1 and 2, 1943, Klara and her family were forced to leave their home in Copenhagen. Klara secretly managed to leave a note to her friend Kamma. She wrote: "Dear Kamma, we have been taken by the German police. Notify my school. Greetings from Klara."

Klara's family and other Jews were taken to the port, where a ship was waiting. A rabbi made sure that the food was evenly distributed among the passengers on board. Since it was Klara's 14th birthday, she received double portions of crispbread. Thus began the journey towards the ghetto in Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia.


In the ghetto at Theresienstadt, the Jews were ordered to wear a six-pointed yellow star on their outer garments.

Klara, her mother and sister, were taken to a barracks called Hamburg. Jewish women from many different countries lived there. The father and brothers were taken to another building.

The conditions in the ghetto were harsh; many became ill and died. One of them was Klara's father.

1945 and Postwar Experiences

Klara Tixell and her family were eventually liberated in 1945. At liberation, they were brought by the so-called white busses to Sweden.

Klara was 15 years old when she left Sweden and returned to Denmark. She experiences many difficulties in finding a way to lead a "normal life".