The descendant of a Jewish family forced to flee to Windermere during the Second World War has written a book about her ancestors' experiences as refugees seeking solace from the clutches of a European tyrant.

Vivian Sieber has released 'Kino and Kinder', the story of Vivian's grandmother Paula Sieber, who was a cinema owner in Vienna before being forced to flee Austria in 1938 due to Hitler's persecution of Jewish people.

Paula sent her son Peter to safety in England before fleeing herself as a penniless refugee and became the second matron of a hostel for girls set up initially in Newcastle but then relocated to Windermere when Hitler began bombing English cities.

Vivian said the plight of refugees was now tragically topical due to the war in Ukraine and her research, based on contemporary correspondence and archival research, showed the girls' positive experiences in Windermere.

"It was housed in South Wood, Ambleside Road," she said.

The Mail: WINDERMERE: South Wood in Windermere, the where the girls livedWINDERMERE: South Wood in Windermere, the where the girls lived

"Kino and Kinder has many quotes from the girls themselves (as adults) on their experience of leaving their parents and life in the hostel.

"The girls describe moving to the Lake District, to a school in Windermere and are particularly kind about the ways they were helped by some of the teachers.

"The book happened rather by accident. In 1999 my father Peter contacted the women cared for in the hostel asking them about their lives.

"Many replied with poignant memories of leaving their parents as young children, their journey, adjusting to life in the hostel and their subsequent lives.

The Mail: WOMEN: The girls, aged 12-20, in 1944, taken in WindermereWOMEN: The girls, aged 12-20, in 1944, taken in Windermere

"When Peter died in 2000 along with his notes from the survey and his report on the hostel I found this battered attache case of my grandmothers full of letters (mostly between Peter and his mother Paula) and photographs along with his war-time journals.

"Following a visit to Vienna in 2019, the flat they lived in until forced to flee from the Nazis and their cinema (now a Spar) and through the archives, I began piecing together what happened to family members left behind and the cinema.

"So a few idle questions became a quest and my first book."