The Board, staff and volunteers of Asylum Welcome are deeply saddened to hear of the death of our Patron, Dr Uwe Kitzinger CBE, who has passed away at the age of 95.

Uwe was a true friend of Asylum Welcome, helping us from our early development to more recent times. He gave generously of his time, money, and extensive contacts. His inquisitive mind, fierce intellect, and contagious enthusiasm were a constant inspiration to all who knew him.

In July 1939, Uwe left Nazi Germany, flying from Nuremberg, his birthplace, to Croydon Airport. He never forgot his refugee past. He always cared passionately for the plight of asylum seekers and refugees, working tirelessly on projects and initiatives that would help alleviate their suffering. Furthermore, he was always thinking about how to challenge the system and bring about change.

For many years Uwe, almost single-handedly, funded Asylum Welcome’s hardship fund, amongst other generous gifts to the charity.

Uwe had a remarkable academic life here in Oxford, starting with his First Class degree in PPE in 1951 from New College, Oxford. He was later a Fellow at Nuffield, first President of Templeton College, Oxford (the pre-cursor of Green Templeton College), and a key figure in the development of the Saïd Business School. Further afield he had also been the Dean of INSEAD in Fontainebleau and a Visiting Professor at Harvard University.


He was a rare person: incredibly clever, knowledgeable, and wise, yet humble, kind, and always generously offering his support whenever he could.

Our sympathy goes out to his devoted partner, Rosie, and his family. He will be greatly missed.

Uwe contributed so much to Asylum Welcome over so many years.


Most of those who benefitted will never know it, but his wisdom, passion and his generosity, with his time, learning and money, were fundamental to the organisation’s work for decades and therefore made a difference to thousands of people in need of sanctuary and support. He represented the very best of what one person can offer his neighbour.
– Mark Goldring, Director, Asylum Welcome


One bear and his boys: a story of love, loss and homecoming

Just a few weeks before the start of the Second World War, a German officer courageously helped a young boy to escape with his family from Nazi Germany. Just before leaving, as a gesture of thanks, the boy handed his beloved teddy bear – his ‘home comfort’ – to the three-year-old son of the German officer.

The boy fled with his family to the UK, but kept in touch with the son of the German officer over the years. 75 years after the bear was given away, after being loved and squeezed by three generations of German children, and somewhat battered and patched, the teddy returned to Oxfordshire to visit its original owner, and Asylum Welcome’s distinguished patron, Dr Uwe Kitzinger CBE.