(18 January 1924 – 30 October 2020)
George (Hansi) Newman, born Hans Neumann, has passed away in London aged 96. He arrived at Magdalen College School as a Jewish refugee from Vienna in 1938 aged 14.
With the passing of George Newman, MCS has lost one of the last of the Jewish pupils who arrived in the late 1930s and during the war. Neumann H.G.R.M was expected to adapt overnight into an English-speaking schoolboy in a blazer and he was accepted by MCS unquestioningly. Meanwhile 980 miles away, his former school abruptly expelled its Jews and many of his former classmates and teachers would soon be murdered. Others would collude in these murders.
The Lily reports that he spoke at the debate in Michaelmas term 1940. “In the opinion of this House, dictatorships will not last a decade”, where George argued that a slow but sure democracy was preferable to a quick-minded dictator. He won classics prizes, and joined and later led the nascent school orchestra.
In 2014 he was awarded the Ehrenkreuz fuer Wissenschaft und Kunst for his role in rescuing and saving banned books from the Nazi purge. His family memoir ‘Finding Harmony: a family’s journey across Europe and beyond’ gives more detail of his life.
George (Hansi) is survived by his three children; Paul (Patrick), Joanna and Helena, all three of whom attended Magdalen College, Oxford, and by his six grandchildren.