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A letter written by Franz Hausner, who was interned at Mooragh Camp in Ramsey, in the Isle of Man, to his wife Betty who was interned in Port Erin in the Isle of Man.

Images courtesy of Tony Hausner.


Mrs. Betty Hausner
Port Erin

My Dearest Weibi.

I just received your sweet letter of the 25th & I don’t know what to think of it. –Why have you been X-rayed??? Why don’t you tell me that. -I will be horribly worried until the time I have seen you again. Please write the truth to me! You were never making any secrets before me. –It is a real shame that you were not allowed to see or inform me of the fact that you were for treatment in Ramsey. There is no human feeling in the responsible person. -I am also surprised that you have so suddenly changed your mind concerning me in the decision Peter took. I am not going to do anything before I have seen you. I know how you were writing me some weeks ago, asking me instantly not to do like Peter, and I promised you something which I will keep and I can’t believe that you have changed your mind, or have you? –Otto has written to me. He has lost all his luggage. The house where Klein lives and he is now too has no more top floor (bombed). Their factory garden was bombed, etc. As all his addresses were in the luggage he could not see Napier yet. I gave him all addresses & authorities once more; they left here yesterday. There is no use saying anything about business at present. We must wait and hear. Napier wrote another letter, saying that he is already at work with Reinhart’s Solicitor & it appears that Napier is stepping into the matter. I bring you the letter. Also Schleissner is willing to take the job. Only he has nearly no money. –I have written, that you have got no money yet. –Please confirm receipt of fur coat to Otto. –I received several days ago your message about parents arrival. I received a letter from Jedlinsky, who is well off. –Walter wrote not so good news this time. He is at another Camp now. He got at last my first news. –Other day I found out that Mr. Imber is since August here in the Camp. He left Monday for Lingkeld. –I hope that our meeting is next week. –Morrison made yesterday a statement about Internees, AMPC & wives of men, who have joined the AMPC. We will see the papers with referring articles only tomorrow & I think it will influence many decisions. –What about was the inquiry from the U.S. Consulate? –Miss Cook was in this camp last Wednesday, while I was writing my last letter to you. –Don’t hope to(o) much help from Cove. He is no good, as I told you before. Our disadvantage is that today all luxury production is curtailed & of no national interest, except for Export other than Dominions. I have asked them repeatedly to apply for Government contracts to export, but without success. –Why & where are you moving to? –I am longing for & dreaming of the moment, I shall meet you. Sorry for the bad picture on top. –All my unceasing love & lots of xxx

November 27th, 1940


Franz Hausner, 17, Mooragh Camp, Ramsey, I.o.M.

About Franz and Betty Hausner

Franz Hausner (born 1915) and Betty Heimann (born 1911) were both Jewish refugees from Vienna. After Hitler took over Austria in what is called the Anschluss in March 1938, many Jews tried to leave as they were terrified about what could happen to them living in a Nazi country. Franz and Betty had known each other a little in Vienna, but it was not until they met again in London that they fell in love and were married there in 1939. Soon after the wedding, Franz, Betty, and Franz’s brother Walter moved to a shared house in Cardiff. They set up a textile factory called Novel Textile Co. Ltd. on Treforest Trading Estate, near Pontypridd. Back in Vienna, the two brothers worked in the family business making lace and chenille.

After the war broke out the British government began to intern people who they considered a threat to National Security, and this newlywed Austrian couple were sent to two separate camps on the Isle of Man. Franz was interned in Mooragh Camp and Betty in Port Erin because men and women had to live separately. We know about life in the camp and its many hardships through the regular letters exchanged by the couple. Betty revealed that she had been made to share a room with a Nazi woman and was only allowed to bathe every 14 days. Franz wrote about difficulties with their business, and he eventually decided to sell their textile factory.

After their one-year internment ended, they decided to leave Cardiff and move to Liverpool before finally emigrating to America in 1950.


Edwards, Mark, Europe's only all-female WW2 internment camp remembered (2015) [accessed 14 March 2022]

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