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Memorial for Hermine Johanna Beck

Memorial Image
Graveside: 11:00 AM Friday, September 6th, 2019
Eternal Home Cemetery
1051 El Camino Real
Colma, CA 94014

Hermine “Mimi” Beck

November 18, 1911 – September 1,2019

Mimi Beck was born in Vienna, the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the third child and only daughter of Karl and Louisa Glaser. In 1936 she converted to Judaism and married Max Beck of Zizkov, Moravia. Max Beck had become a citizen of Czechoslovakia, and they made their home in Sleen, Moravia. After the takeover of Czechoslovakia by the Third Reich, Max and Mimi were able to escape to Ceylon in 1938, through the auspices of Max’s employer. They moved to Agra, India where their only child, Eva, was born. They subsequently moved to Colombo, Ceylon [now Sri Lanka] where Max established an import-export business.

When Max and Mimi wished to emigrate to the United States in 1961, Mimi found that she was no longer considered an Austrian having married a Czech national. The Czech government no longer considered them citizens since they had been absent from that country for 23 years. And despite having lived in the British commonwealth since 1938 with a daughter who had was a British subject, they were not accepted by that government as well. They were stateless.

Their only recourse was to apply to the United Nations for a stateless passport upon which they finally were allowed to emigrate to the United States. Max continued his import-export business in San Francisco, until his untimely death in August 1966. Mimi relocated to Los Altos, Mountain View and Palo Alto. She moved to Lytton Gardens over 30 years ago and volunteered in their gift shop until she reached 100 years of age. She was their oldest resident.

Mimi died in her sleep on September 1, 2019, age 107, without any suffering. She is survived by her daughter, Eva Beck, of Sydney, Australia, William Hant, a cousin in Los Angeles, and Kenneth Fehl and Family of Palo Alto. She will be missed by her family and friends.