Remarkable Trude dies

Trude Holmes, who died aged 102 on December 25, 2013.

Trude Holmes, who died aged 102 on December 25, 2013.

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A remarkable woman who set up a new life for herself in Britain after the horrors of the war has died aged 102.

Long-time Sheffield resident Gertrud Edith Holmes, known as Trude, was born in Vienna in 1911 to middle-class parents, Berthold and Olga Falk.

She completed a doctorate in psychology in Vienna in 1935, specialising in child development.

After Trude’s parents were caught in the Nazi turmoil, she got an exit visa to the UK and got a job as a nanny and domestic servant.

Despite efforts to bring her parents out of the country, Trude only discovered in 1947 that they had died in 1942 after deportation to the Lodz Ghetto in Poland.

After the war she became an educational psychologist in Essex. In 1975 she married Geoffrey Holmes, a metallurgical chemist at the firm LSM in Rotherham. He was the widower of a late friend from the same refugee circle.

Trude and Geoffrey had a happy retirement together in Sheffield and were members of the Sheffield Association for the Encouragement of the Arts, the Sorby Society and the RSPB.

They moved to Lewes in 2005 to be nearer family, and Geoffrey died in 2008.

In 2012, Trude’s family got a message revealing she had had an Austrian half brother, unknown to her, after a newspaper article about her was published on her 100th birthday.
She died peacefully at a care home in Lewes on December 25. Her funeral was on Monday.