Obituary: Barbara Hofschröer

UK Column covered the Hofschröer case (alias Grandma B, the name of an extremely heavily suppressed blog) quite frequently in early 2018 and in an in-depth podcast. We have received this obituary. Barbara Hofschröer's son Peter remains incarcerated in Austria in conditions of unclear legality.


Abuse victim Barbara Hofschröer passed away on Sunday 20 February 2022 at Haxby Hall Care Home, where she was being held by York Social Services. She was 93 years old.

Barbara became known as “Grandma B” in recognition of the fact she had been subjected to years of abuse and persecution by the authorities in Britain, Austria and Germany.

Born in London on 13 December 1928, Barbara was one of five daughters born to Charles and Kathleen Haslegrave. Her mother was chronically ill, so much of her childhood was spent caring for her. Evacuated to Cornwall during the Second World War, she went to the same school as Ronnie Biggs.

On returning to London, she started work in an electronics factory making parts for warplanes. While on summer holiday in 1948, she met the love of her life, Paul Hofschröer, a German prisoner-of-war. They married that October.

Barbara gave birth to her first child, Robert, in 1951. Robert was born profoundly deaf but Barbara’s maternal instincts did much to help him overcome that handicap. Her second child, Peter, was born in 1956.

Once her children had reached school age, Barbara started work at Robert’s school, the Old Kent Road School for the Deaf.

She had developed a natural talent for teaching deaf children. She was devoted to her school children and for many years ran a minibus taking them out at weekends and during school holidays.

Barbara retired in 1986 and moved with her husband to York, where Robert now lived. She brought up her grandchildren, allowing their parents to go to work.

Later, she cared for her ageing husband before this became too much for her. Peter then moved into the parental home to look after both parents. Paul passed away in January 2009.

Peter’s return to York caused a rift in the family. It became clear that some in the family had other plans for Barbara and Paul. The abuse of Grandma B began with aggressive attempts to seize her assets. One family member had close links to the social services and North Yorkshire Police. They consequently refused to safeguard Barbara against this abuse and started to make allegations against Peter.

The case became more sinister once Lord Maginnis raised the police and social worker corruption in the 2012 Queen's Speech Debate in Parliament, calling on the then Home Secretary Theresa May to carry out her duty and order an investigation. May evaded this, so the abuse continued.

Hounded out of her house in York, Barbara spent a few years living in Peter’s home in Austria before the authorities there forced them to seek refuge in Germany. Here, on 6 May 2014, Barbara was kidnapped by German police officers overseen by extraterritorially-operating British police officers, accompanied by York social workers acting extraterritorially.

Barbara was then brought back to Britain before being put in a care home and stripped of her assets. She spent eight years in this home before she passed away.

All Barbara ever wanted was to spend the final years of her life living in peace and safety in the care of her loyal son, Peter. This was sadly not to be.