Vienna, Austria, 2nd. June 1899
Father: Rudolf Bunzlau (Lawyer)
Mother: Jenny Handofsky
1886 Fritz Benedikt Bunzlau
1881 Maria Bunzlau
1889 Paul Bunzlau
1) 19?? Married Otto Alexander Malacek
2) 1948 Married Hans Margulies on 24. April in Paddington, London UK.
London GB, 31st May 1995
Minna Malacek came to England from Austria, in 1939, seeking political asylum from the Nazis.
She lost most of her family in the Holocaust; other than that I know nothing of her former life.
She married my grandfather, Hans Margulies, in 1948. I never knew my 'real' Grandmother, Maria Remenyi,
and although technically speaking, she is my Step-Grandmother, I always think of Minna (Minnie)
as my Grandmother.
As a foreigner, she was technically an "Alien", and, coming from a country which was a potential (later, real) enemy, she was a potential "Enemy Alien".
As an alien, she had to register with the police and inform them of any changes in address or employment, and even if she wished to leave her registered place of abode for visits or holidays.
Every change was duly noted in her "Certificate of Registration", which therefore serves as a detailed "potted biography" of her life between 1939 and 1962, when she was finally exempted from the need to register.
Minna (her family and friends all called her Minny) came to Britain before the Second World War, and was the only member of her immediate family to escape death at the hands of the Nazis.
She lived in Church Stretton, Shropshire; and worked as a housekeeper during the war. Shortly after that, she used her business talents to fill a post at Bunzl Paper Company; until her retirement in the seventies, which was reluctantly accepted by the firm.
Minny met Hans Margulies in 1947 after Hans' wife had died, and helped him to enjoy life again. They married a little later, and began life together in the Hampstead area; and eventually moved to the flat at 82 Fairhazel Gardens. They transformed the flat into a small gem, furnishing it with antiques and miniatures they found while roaming round country towns. They spent their time together, reading, visiting art exhibitions, entertaining their friends and playing bridge with them.
Altogether they enjoyed more than a dozen happy years together, when Hans died suddenly of heart failure. Minny went on living in the flat, and kept Hans' memory alive adding occasionally to their collection of treasures. She also travelled to Israel several times, to visit distant relatives.
We can all remember being invited to Afternoon Tea at Minny's. This was a special event. We had to be properly dressed and on our best behaviour; the flat would be spotless. Minny would appear from the kitchen with a trolley laden with her antique Bohemian tea-set on lace doilies. There was a stack of perfectly triangular sandwiches, and an array of delicious Continental cakes and biscuits. Then Minny would prepare tea using the electric kettle, or coffee using a glass flask and spirit lamp. The conversation was usually to bring her up to date on the activities of the members of our particular part of the family.
For a long time she went on enjoying an active social and cultural life, and living up to the exacting standards ingrained from her childhood. Major surgery led to a brief stay in a residential home; this confirmed her determination to live the rest of her life in her own flat: a decision made possible by the care and attention of her housekeeper Gloria, and the good-Samaritan presence of her neighbour Josie in the flat below. We are all grateful to them both.
[In 1992] a hip accident led to a decline in her health; and deteriorating eyesight and hearing made it increasingly hard work for her to stay abreast of events. This led to a lot of frustration... Eventually, Minny began to need twenty-four hour care, and her will to live diminished. Physical weakness eventually overtook her, and she passed away one day before her ninety-sixth birthday. [..]