'Two people who love each other': 70 years together for Hermi and Shirley

Hermi and Shirley Rothman marking their special day

Hermi and Shirley Rothman marking their special day - Credit: Jewish Care

A Golders Green couple have marked their 70th wedding anniversary with gifts, cards and video calls from family and friends.  

Hermi, 96, and Shirley Rothman, 88, celebrated the milestone at their retirement home, run by Jewish Care, a fortnight ago (February 12).  

Their granddaughter Yael visited the couple on their special day to play them some of their favourite songs, as the pair share a passion for music and love to sing and dance together.  

Hermi said there is no secret to their 70 years of marriage.

“It’s open knowledge that two people love each other and want to spend all their lives together,” he said.  

In 1939, Hermi arrived in England as a refugee on the Kindertransport from Germany.

The couple's wedding day in 1951

The couple's wedding day in 1951 - Credit: Jewish Care

He lived at Gwyrch Castle in North Wales before joining the British army. 

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In his book, Hitler’s Will, published in 2009, Hermi told of how he was posted to Westertimke and Fallingbostel prisoner of war camps in 1945 to interrogate Nazi war criminals.  

When papers were discovered sewn into the shoulders of a jacket belonging to Heinz Lorenz, who had been Joseph Goebbels' press secretary, he and a team of four others were responsible for translating the documents under extreme secrecy.  

They turned out to be the originals of Hitler's personal and political wills, and Goebbels' addendum.  

In Fallingbostel where Hermi translated Goebbels' Addendum to Hitler's Will

In Fallingbostel, where Hermi translated Goebbels' Addendum to Hitler's Will - Credit: Jewish Care

Later on, as his book revealed, in Rottenberg hospital Hermi interrogated Hermann Karnau, who had been Hitler's valet, to establish information about the Nazi leader's death in the bunker.   

In later life, Hermi went on to become director of KKL Executor and Trustee Company, and Shirley was an antiques dealer.  

The couple have two children, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. They met at a dance on New Year’s Eve in 1948, and married in 1951.  

Their daughter Janice said: “They always felt that the community should be there to support one another.  

“My mother taught me lessons about justice and equality that have stayed with me my entire life and my father is a lifelong socialist, caring about those who need our support in society.  

“He believes that one of the lessons we should learn from the Holocaust, is how we should behave and carry ourselves with dignity – never taking justice into our own hands in a vengeful way but encouraging democracy, fairness and equality for all.”