THE STORY OF THE SQUARE
Quilt 1, Square 20
Artist: Ursula Meyer (nee Eichmann)
I was born and lived in Westfalia, Germany. Came on a KINDERTRANSPORT to England on the 2nd of August 1939. I was 14 years old at the time.
I can remember very little about leaving my parents. Do remember the ship leaving from Holland to England, and then arriving in a big hall, where our names were called out. A lovely little lady greeted me. I liked her on sight. She was the sister-in-law of the Sawyers, the family who took me in. She took me to Birmingham, where I lived till war’s end.
My square for the memory quilt depicts a child staring out of a train window as it embarks on the Kindertransport journey. The tear signifies the loss of loved parents and the infinite sadness. The outstretched hand symbolizes the Compassion and Humanity demonstrated by the Sawyers, who were Christadelphians, who were truly the Righteous Gentiles. Not by words but by deeds.
I was constantly worried about my parents and the Sawyers tried to get them into England too; but then war broke out and that put an end to their efforts. The war years were very hard and I trained as a nurse and enjoyed my work. We had troop trains constantly coming in and being able to help, even a little, in the fight against the Nazis gave me great satisfaction. I worked hard and many long hours in a hospital dealing with broken bones and burns, especially when troop trains arrived with wounded soldiers.
In 1947, I left England for what is now Zimbabwe to join one of my aunts, who supported me while there; but I wanted to get to my grandfather who had arrived in South Africa in 1939, three months after war had broken out, and stayed there with another aunt of mine. Eventually I managed to get a visitor’s visa and left for Cape Town, South Africa, late 1947. There I met and married my husband and lived there 33 very happy years, having also been blessed with wonderful parents-in-law. We have two lovely and loving children and four grandchildren. As I did not want to be separated from my family as I had been, never to see my parents again, (they, having perished like all those millions in the Holocaust), we left South Africa in 1981 to join our children who had emigrated to the United States. Since arriving here, we have been living in Boca Raton, Florida.
We the survivors all have a story to tell the world. Only time dims the memory or maybe we have blocked them out? Who knows?