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Ipswich honors British Jewish spy, caught and killed by Nazis

Kurt Erich Glauber, a lawyer by trade, transmitted information as an undercover MI6 agent in Austria.

A new headstone at Ipswich Old Cemetery in England honoring Kurt Erich Glauber, a former Jewish MI6 agent who died at Mauthausen, was unveiled at a memorial ceremony on Sept. 13, 2023. Photo by Stanley Kaye.
A new headstone at Ipswich Old Cemetery in England honoring Kurt Erich Glauber, a former Jewish MI6 agent who died at Mauthausen, was unveiled at a memorial ceremony on Sept. 13, 2023. Photo by Stanley Kaye.

A newly unveiled marble headstone in Ipswich Old Cemetery in West England honors Kurt Erich Glauber, a British MI6 agent, who was Jewish and risked his life operating undercover in his native Austria during World War II. When the Nazis infiltrated his cell, he was sent to the Mauthausen concentration camp, where he died at age 42, two months before the end of the war.

Glauber’s nephew and great-niece, Antony and Jem Japhet, attended a Sept. 13 ceremony at the cemetery marking the new memorial. Visitors can scan a QR code on the stone to learn more about the life of the lawyer, who was born in Vienna in 1902.

When the Nazis stormed the city in 1938, Glauber fled to England, joining his family. He settled in Ipswich, where he worked as a trainee at the Tower Mill Steam Laundry, “a far cry from his former profession,” according to the Ipswich War Memorial.

Glauber enlisted in the British Army in 1940, eventually volunteering to join MI6. He spent five months on a covert mission in Austria gathering and transmitting critical information to the British. He and his fellow agents were betrayed and sent by the Gestapo to Mauthausen, where he died in April 1945, according to the war memorial.

After the war, Glauber was awarded a posthumous King’s Commendation for Brave Conduct.

At the recent ceremony, Israel Geoffrey Hyman, the rabbi of the Southend and Westcliff Hebrew Congregation, about an hour from Ipswich, led a prayer. Antony Japhet shared childhood memories about his uncle and thanked the Ipswich War Memorial and the local researcher Rachel Field.

Field told local media that she had decided to research all the Jewish refugees who came to Ipswich. “When she came across Dr. Glauber and began to piece together his incredible story, Mrs. Field knew that she could not allow his legacy to go unrecognized,” reported the East Anglian Daily Times.

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