Albert Waxman, who has died at 94, was a survivor of the Nazis who became a prominent Yorkshire textile manufacturer and philanthropist.
Born in Sarreguemines in north-eastern France in 1924, he moved with his family to Saarbrucken, just over the border with Germany, where his parents kept a draper’s shop
After living through Kristallnacht – the November pogrom of 1938 – during which the SS ransacked the family’s flat, forcing them to flee in their nightclothes, Albert and his brothers were dispersed overseas. His elder siblings went to Palestine, the youngest to a farm in France and Albert on the Kindertransport rescue mission to the UK.
He was sent to a Jewish hostel in Bradford, learned English for three months, and was dispatched to work in a comb factory at 8s week. He said the Post Office savings account he opened on the proceeds was the “bank book that changed my life.”
He later entered an engineering company, but was determined to enlist in the forces. With almost no education, he passed his pilot’s exam and joined the RAF.
On his release he rejoined his parents, who had survived in Paris against the odds, and they moved back to Saarbrucken to resume the cloth business.
On a buying trip to Bradford in 1949, Albert met Lilly Sobol, and a year later they were married. He moved back to the city, studied at the Technical College, and then worked for his father in law, Adolph Sobol.
After six years he started his own textile business and later bought and expanded Sobol’s mill in Elland. The company that bears his name continues to thrive there.
His hobby was golf and he became president of his club. He was also president of the
Bradford Jewish Benevolent Society and of the city failing Hebrew congregation, his acumen keeping it going for a further 25 years.
He is survived by Lilly, their children Susan, Richard and Alan, grandsons Samuel and Joshua, and great-granddaughter Willow.