Starts and pauses

Buckner, Ille

Ille’s fascinating life offer us a unique look at Berlin in the 1930s, as well as her life in Johannesburg and Melbourne.


Ille Buckner leads the reader through her family′s lovely old home in Berlin, now the site of Volkswagen′s Head Office.

The 1920s currency crisis forced her to leave school. Ille studied fashion design in Amsterdam but, by the time she returned to Berlin, Jews were not allowed to join trade unions. In 1937 she sailed to Johannesburg, where she worked as a master cutter in several factories and took wonderful jungle holidays with her husband.

In March 1965 they moved to Melbourne, where Ille returned to her interrupted education and became a welfare officer in Jewish Care.