Bers early stay in Sweden

Bers early stay in Sweden after the war

"I'm forever thankful for coming to Sweden!"

He arrived in Trelleborg (south Sweden) on July 20, 1945, with HMS Kastelholm steamship* fron Lübeck, Germany and was accommodated at Central School in Trelleborg. He underwent a medical examination and samples were taken to check if he had any disease.

* HMS Kastelholm - link to more information about the ship Ber came  to Sweden with 20th July 1945.

August 13, 1945, he moved to Öreryd School, Hestra (52 km south of Jönköping, Sweden) because those who were healthy moved there.

Register över nyankomna som förflyttats över till Hästra 13 augusti 1945. Nästan längst ner på listan syns Ber (Beno Fuks)

Register of new arrivals transferred to Hestra August 13, 1945. Ber (Beno Fuks) appears at the bottom of the list. Again excuse the bad quality of the picture.

The photos below are taken at Öreryd School in Hestra 25 December 1945 and only just over 5 months after arrival in Sweden with the Red Cross. These two photos are the earliest photos of Ber in Sweden. A photo exists before these two (see "Time in Lodz ghetto") but there is nothing on either Ber or the other family Fuks. The reason that we don't have any photos is that the Germans confiscated everything on arrival at the Auschwitz concentration camp. In other words, the photos here are unique.

Some of the refugees who were ill were moved to Malmö. At a hearing of the Swedish authority at Öreryd School, he stated that he had been in school for 7 years. He even stated that he would return to Poland and Lodz. On August 23, 1945, he was diagnosed completely healthy from a doctor, which was necessary prerequisite for being able to start working. On November 17, 1945, Ber requested his first foreigner passport at the Royal National Board of Health, which was also required to be able to work in the country. This he received a day later.

Friskintyg 23 augusti 1945.

Health certificate August 23, 1945. It states that he was healthy and was able to work.

On November 20, 1945, he received his first position as a various worker in Sweden at Norrahammar Bruk in Norrahammar (12 km south of Jönköping) and received SEK 1.50 per hour.

However, the employment at Norrahammar Bruk was only temporary because on 29 December 1945 he moved to Tappuddens settlement in Furudal, Dalarna (about 75 km north of Falun).

He applied in Furudal on January 20, 1946, to obtain a work permit from the Swedish Immigration Commission to work in Höganäs at Höganäs-Billesholm AB as a various workforce for SEK 60-70 per week. He got the work permit and work, and was resident in an apartment with a foreman named Olsson at Höganäs-Billesholm AB in Höganäs.

A new application was sent by Ber to the Swedish Immigration Commission on August 20, 1946, to obtain a work permit to take a job as a burner / welder at Hälsingborg's shipyard in Helsingborg for SEK 65 per week. On January 17, 1947, he applied for a work permit from the Swedish Immigration Commission and receives a change in employment at the same company. This employment was changed to shipyard workers and the salary was raised to SEK 76 / week. He was resident at an employee named Asarsson at Vikingsgatan 1 when he was employed at Hälsingborg's shipyard in Helsingborg.

Through the employment office, he applies for employment on April 24, 1947 at Kockums Mechanical Workshop AB in Malmö. Here he gets employment on May 3, 1947 as a burner and welders for SEK 70 / week. He lives at Kockum's settlement on Vattenverksvägen until 3 October 1947 and in a furnished room on Tärningholmsgatan 17a until January 1948.

The salary is raised to SEK 75 / week when he also applies for a new Residence and work permit at the Swedish Immigration Commission on January 10, 1948.

He lived in Kockum homes at Kristianstadsgatan 21, Malmö. On a registry card at Malmö City Archives, he moved to this address on January 14, 1948, resident of the Goldblatt family who had moved to America. The property owner did not know about this which was a problem. He moved March 15, 1948.

The Polish Consulate announces to the Swedish State Foreign Commission on September 21, 1948, that, as before this notice, Ber called Beno, claiming that he was born August 12, 1922. They announced that his name was Ber and was born August 30, 1921. The Swedish authorities changed these data on the registry card we found in Malmö city archiveas as can be seen on the picture below. Here is also his home address, which was Västanvägen 45a in Malmö. The registration card states that he moved there March 15, 1948, until September 4, 1949.

Polska konsulatet kontaktade de Svenska Utlänningskommissionen 1948 att Bers namn inte var Beno utan Ber samt att hans födelsedata var 30 augusti 1921. På bilden ovan syns att födelsedatan ändrats och den gamla är överstruken. Detta var en av anledningarna till att vi inte hittade honom på Malmö Stadsarkiv inledningsvis då han kom 1945 till Sverige och Trelleborg under namnet Beno Fuks och inte Ber Fuchs.

The Polish Consulate contacted the Swedish Immigration Commission in 1948 that Bers name was not Beno it was Ber and his birthday data was August 30, 1921. The picture above shows that the birth data was changed and the old is overridden. This was one of the reasons we did not find him at Malmö City Archives initially when he came to Sweden and Trelleborg in 1945 under the name Beno Fuks and not Ber Fuchs.

The property manager at Västanväg 45a stated that Ber had behaved well and at one point, Ber was unhappily in love with an unknown lady and had tried to cut off the artery on his wrist. He moves from the address 4 September 1949. He then moves to Kockums Mechanical Workshop's settlement on Ärtholmsvägen until February 15, 1950.

New address from February 15, 1950 became Skansgatan 4a until April 1, 1950. The Mendelberger family rented this apartment, but this family had also moved to America. Just as before, the property owner was not informed that the apartment was rented by someone else, which meant a problem. The reason for all moving to America is not reflected in the police report.

He was a resident at Maria Johansson on Västergatan 23 in Malmö from April 1, 1950. For this furnished apartment, he paid SEK 50 a month.

He fails at Kockum Mechanical Workshop and his employment ends in early January 1951 due to "Laziness at work".

Ber has a shorter employment as a textile worker at Malmö Wool factory AB from January 3, 1951 until January 29, 1951 (27 days or 3 weeks).

January 30, 1951, he is employed as a shoe worker at Malmö Shoe factory AB Gyllene Gripen, Industrigatan 4, Malmö. Here he receives a weekly salary of SEK 120. During his employment, he attended to a school at a Shoe trays school in Örebro. This was entirely funded by Gyllene Gripen. He was still employed by Gyllene Gripen when the last hearing was held by the police in Malmö in March 1953 (see further down for more information).

June 21, 1952 Midsummer the shop assistant Lizette Jönsson and Ber were engaged. Lizette was living at Spångatan 15.

February 25, 1953, Lizette Jönsson and Ber gave birth to a boy, Olle Benny Peter. He was born at Malmö General Hospital (MAS). Because they weren't married, Ber pays SEK 60 per month in alimony.

Many years later, Ber's son Olle knocked on the door at Fuchs resident in Malmo and he talked to Ber for a while. No one in the family then knew who he was. Olle later came to Ber's funeral and he was now known for the rest of the Fuchs family. He changed his surname sometime in the 80's to Fuchs. Tragically, Olle died on December 20, 2003. Olle was a calm, warm, nice and lovely person who was married but unfortunately without any own children.

Ber was a resident of the Szächter family from April 1, 1953 at Vattenverksvägen 41a. It is apparent from the police report that as soon as Lizette and Ber received a common residence, they would start planning their marriage.

On November 11, 1953, Ber became a Swedish citizen. Every year he had to apply for residence and work permits to work or move to different places in the country. At the same time, he was also interrogated by the police in Malmö every time he applied for Swedish citizenship. The hearing ceased when he became a Swedish citizen. Much of this material is the basis for the content here during his first stay in Sweden.

On March 4, 1954, Lizette gave birth to another boy, Lars Anders and he was born at MAS. Anders was adopted according to a district court on May 9, 1955, and was given Hoff as surname. Lizette and Ber never married and unfortunately there was no reason or when they separated.

Olle Fuchs and Anders Hoff met many years later as adults at a party. They had a common friend. They were unknown to each other and completely unaware that they were siblings. The common friend thought they had a similar story about their father and he thought they should meet. A rather unique story.

Bröderna Anders Hoff och Leon Fuchs

Half brothers Leon Fuchs and Anders Hoff

On March 23, 1954 Ber received his surname exchange approved from Fuks to Fuchs.

He did his military service between 1954-10-22 - 1956-01-12 [YYYY-MM-DD] (including repudiation) at I1 in Solna, Stockholm on 2nd Company, 2nd Pluton.

On December 14, 1955 another boy was born, Thomas Emil, together with Johanna Augusta Stoltenberg. Later Thomas stayed with his grandparents. Thomas gets a daughter Emma with Annette Sjövall as Leon met for the first time at Thomas's funeral in 1994. Thomas died after a time at UMAS in Malmö on November 21, 1994. At a later date, Thomas daughter Emma wrote this about her bellowed father:

"The sweat ran from his forehead while enjoying Indian dishes. He liked to spend money in good restaurants and pastry shops. He loved riding his motorcycle. He loved to ride bikes. He loved freedom. As a engineer, he traveled across big seas. He was convinced Communist for many years, I thought he could sing the international backward, his union involvement effected his work, he was degreded down to the kiosk, he smoked pipe and cigars, his shoes were mostly of good style and quality. Guitar and hospitality made my mom fall in love with him. I have been told that he was the kindest man, that he was bad at washing clothes, cleaning and paying bills. He read. When he learned about his true father, he began researching the fate of his relatives during the war. He abandoned communism and converted to Judaism. Once I heard Klezmer music that he had on a cassette tape.

He was very sick. When he failed to live (went bankrupt) he went to hospital. Surveillance was apparently not sufficient because he managed to kill himself in the department of "Suicide residents". He took his shoelaces and hung himself in the hallway.

My dad was very intelligent and kind. Did he ever think of me? The number of times I remember him I can count on my ten fingers. He could at least have written a letter. Daddy remains a mystery to me. At the same time, he is strongly present in me and affects my life. I know a little about him. I know he loved strong food."

Emma Sjövall

Leon remembers Thomas dry humor and as a kind person. Thomas made a trip to Poland and he returned with some interesting findings (eg, he visited Auschwitz). He disappeared for a long time, and Leon was called on several occasions by several authorities and they wanted to know where Thomas was. Leon and Thomas lived fairly close to each other but did not meet up very often.

On Bers own birthday, August 30, 1958, Ber and Gisela Maria Olsson gave birth to Kerstin Maria. Kerstin visited the Fuchs family, who lived in Rehovot, Israel in 1976. None of the Fuchs siblings knew that it was their half-sister who was visiting. This was also kept a secret until Ber died. She was present at both Ber and Thomas funeral. She is currently living in the Stockholm area and unfortunately no-one in the Fuchs family in Malmö has any contact with Kerstin.

Syskonen Kerstin Olsson och Thomas Fuchs

Siblings Kerstin Olsson and Thomas Fuchs

According to Malmö archives, Ber emigrated to Italy on November 28, 1958 (possibly, the one who wrote the archives may have misunderstood Israel for Italy). He travels to a kibbutz in Israel in 1958 and met Kochava Poller through a common acquaintance. She was then 17 years old living in Tel Aviv with her parents. They got married 1958 and they move to Sweden not long after their mariage. Immediately upon arrival, he was arrested by the Swedish police. The last booking address was then Stockholm, 14 November 1958. He was sentenced to probation April 30, 1959. The crime was for fraud 23 November 1957 and unlawful disposal in December 1957. There is no other information exactly what happened and why he was prosecuted. Kochava got to stay in prison in her own open cell the time Ber was locked up because Kochava didn't have any were to go.

In 1959, the Fuchs couple moves to Copenhagen, Denmark and settles there until 1975.