Gerhard was released from internment after providing evidence that he was not a Nazi sympathiser by making contact with Dr Landshoff, the owner of the Querido Verlag, Amsterdam, whose anti-Nazi literature he and Hilde had distributed from Milan to the Italian-German speaking booksellers. Upon his return to the family Gerhard was employed as a gardener and boilerman at Langcliffe Mill.
Moved into a nearby house let by brother-in-law Albert; Gerhard found new local employment first as a gardener and later as a salesman in an ironmonger's shop.
Gerhard took up a position of manager of a branch of the ironmonger's store in Brierfield, Lancashire when the previous encumbent was called up for military service, and the family moved into the flat above the shop. Later they moved to nearby Colne.
The previous branch manager returned from military service and Gerhard had to give up his position. Hilde and Gerhard rented a shop with accommodation in Colne and set up a stationery business. They went on to open a second store in Nelson.