THE STORY OF THE SQUARE
Quilt 1, Square 5
Artist: Olga Levy Drucker
This square represents the dust jacket of the book I had published by Henry Holt & Company in 1992. Entitled KINDERTRANSPORT, it is for children aged nine to ninety-nine. It was acclaimed “Best Book for Young Adults, 1994” by the American Library Association, is available in hard as well as soft cover, is a Scholastic selection in all American schools, and has been translated into German and Dutch. It can be found in the bookshop of the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. and in many other Holocaust collections.
This book tells the story of my own experience, being sent by my parents on the Kindertransport in March 1939. My father, Dr. Richard Lenk, was, together with his brother Erich, a well-known children’s book publisher in Stuttgart, Germany. I lived in England six years without my parents, with a number of different families, including a boarding school. Almost all my benefactors were non-Jewish.
My parents escaped to the United States by the skin of their teeth, in July 1941, via Spain and Portugal. I was reunited with them in New York in 1945. My older brother, Herbert (Hans) who also lived in England — though we were not together — joined the family again in 1947.
My husband, Rolf, left Berlin with his mother in 1941. We were married in 1950 and have three children, Jane, Robert and Alice, an Irish son-in-law, Tom, and a terrific grandson, Andrew. Hundreds of American children have read my story and heard me talk about it. For some it has represented their first introduction to the story of World War II and the Holocaust. Children in Germany and Holland are also reading it now, and in the summer of 1996, I will be talking to many of them as well. I feel this to be a special privilege, an opportunity to reach out, in hopes of a better world tomorrow.
The name LEVY was my surname at birth. For generations, my family was known as Levy. My father, for obvious reasons, had it legally changed to Lenk shortly after I was born. As a writer, I chose to reclaim it.
Olga Levy Drucker