On Wednesday evening Thomas Marks saw Andrew Motion, AS Byatt and Ian Bostridge celebrate WG Sebald, the great German author of Vertigo and Austerlitz, who died in a car crash a decade ago.
PRAGUE (JTA) – On the first night of Chanukah, I stood in the splendid reception hall of the U.S. ambassador’s residence in Prague as the ambassador lit the first candle in a gilded menorah. …Havel had been extremely important. Not just with his condemnation of anti-Semitism, but with the active role he played in addressing issues such as restitution of Jewish property and in awarding one of the highest state honors to Nicholas Winton, who organized the Czech kindertransport.
Frieda Korobkin can’t recall the last words her father spoke before she and her siblings boarded the Kindertransport but she does remember the Nazis attacking him on the way. Her father was Rabbi Nissan Stolzberg and Nazi soldiers had cut off his beard in front of his 4 young children as he walked them to the train station in Vienna in 1938. Frieda Korobkin spoke to about 250 people Sunday at Beth Avraham Yoseph Synagogue of Toronto, where her son Daniel Korobkin is senior rabbi.
Lily Renee, Escape Artist: From Holocaust Survivor to Comic Book Pioneer This is quite a remarkable little book, by quite an artist-writer duo, on quite a subject. The daughter of a Yiddish journalist and one of the founders of Underground Comix in the late 1960s, Trina Robbins was also a central figure in women’s comics in the 1970s-1990s. The Lily Renee story, is firstly about the discrimination and persecution suffered by Renee in pre-war Vienna, and her escape via Kindertransport.
On Wednesday in Hoek van Holland, in sight of the gangway where over 70 years ago they embarked for England and freedom, gathered tens of Kinder from all over the world. They had come for the unveiling of a statue in commemoration of the Kindertransport. The bronze figures of children with their backpacks and cases relate closely to those previously fashioned by the same artist, Frank Meisler, himself a Kind, in Berlin, Gdansk and at Liverpool Street station.
Injustice was a theme in Conot’s early life that he rarely spoke about but which he repeatedly visited in his books, his daughter said. A native of Austria, he was a child of the Kindertransport. In 1938, when he was 9, he climbed aboard a train — and never saw his parents again. His father, a lawyer, died in the Theresienstadt concentration camp, and his mother, a professional violinist, perished at Auschwitz, Conot’s family said.
“Nicky’s Family,” a documentary film making its debut next month at the Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus in Farmington Hills, opens with two girls peeping through a porthole of a ship leaving eastern Europe, bound for England. The documentary will be shown Dec. 4 as part of the opening of the Holocaust Memorial Center’s newest exhibit, “The Last Goodbye,” which highlights the rescue of the children through the program known as Kindertransport.
Winnipeg – A community-wide Kristallnacht commemoration was held, with a nearly full house turnout last Wednesday. On this same date, in 1938, mobs took to the streets in Germany, Austria, and Sudetenland, attacking Jews in the street, their homes, workplaces and synagogues. Vera Fast, local author and noted historian, recently published Children’s Exodus – A History of the Kindertransport. At the commemoration, she presented The Kindertransport and Beyond event.
Gratz College’s 32-year-old Holocaust Oral History Archive contains interviews with more than 900 survivors of the Shoah, amounting to thousands of hours of testimony. The Melrose Park academic institution has entered into an agreement with Yad Vashem — Israel’s official national Holocaust memorial and one of the world’s leading research institutions on the Shoah — to back up the thousands of hours of recordings in a digital format.
November 9th is an important date in German history. It marks the day that the Berlin Wall fell, 20 years ago this month. The reason it’s not a national holiday in Germany, is that the night of November 9th also marks a much darker anniversary: Kristallnacht, the so-called “Night of Broken Glass.” Hans Riess, an 88 year-old resident of Wesley Hills, NY remembers the date well. He was born in Berlin in 1921. On November 9th, 1938 he was 17 years old.
A Jewish boy, Siegfried Franz Spira arrived via the Kindertransport arrangement and spent a year at Percy Jackson’s Grammar School. He then went on with his father to join his mother in the States where he was to become well-known as Fred Spira with his successful photographic business ‘Spiratone’.
Perhaps its legacy is best remembered in the words of one of the Kindertransport children writing from America in 1998: ”My stay at Macaulay House College was a crucial part of my life. It gave me temporary security, a classic English education and a sense of stability and order. The English people treated me with dignity and respect, they gave me life and liberty and I shall always love them for it.”
My mother went into action and managed to get us older kids on the last Kindertransport to France. I was only six. My older siblings knew what was happening, but my mother was afraid I would cry, and said we were going on vacation… I was excited to get on a train, and I said goodbye without even knowing it was goodbye. I never saw Mama or the babies again.
The focus was on how World War II events dramatically altered the lives of a generation of children. Five panelists described the profound effects of dislocation on European children who participated in Kindertransport and other evacuation plans. As a result of being separated from their homes, and, sometimes, their families, thousands of young Austrian, British, Canadian, French, German and Hungarian, children had to adjust to new languages and cultures.
It is our traditional High Holiday dessert, Lewin told me. “We make two, one to serve for dinner before services on the evening of Rosh Hashanah and another to break the fast for Yom Kippur.” Naomi Lewin’s mother, Elsbeth, born in Mainz, was 15 in 1939 when the family saw the proverbial handwriting on the wall and applied for exit visas. Then came Kristallnacht, and Elsbeth, one of 10,000 Jewish children saved from the Nazis by the British, was hastily dispatched on the Kindertransport.
A novel about a Jewish family during the Holocaust by an author who only recently discovered her Jewish heritage could take home this year’s Man Booker prize. The book follows the antisemitism of the time and the family’s personal struggles, as well as the experience of a child’s escape to England on the Kindertransport.
Maya Zack recreates a 1930s Berlin living room, complete with portents of doom. Zack is interested in the fallibility of memory: of how even the most vivid images we have in our heads are distorted, misremembered and rendered nearly impossible to replicate. “Maya Zack: Living Room” opens at The Jewish Museum on July 31, 2011. It runs through Oct. 30. The Jewish Museum is located at 1109 Fifth Ave. (212) 423-3200.
The 1st Cockley Cley Guide Company in Norfolk was made up of Jewish refugee girls who arrived from Germany and Austria on the Kindertransport trains. Through Guiding they found friendship in a country where they knew nobody, could not speak the language and were considered ‘enemy aliens’.
Dealing with a child’s questions about the Shoah demands sensitivity and patience. Judith Vandervelde, an educator at London’s Jewish Museum, runs a seminar entitled, “How do we talk to our children about the Holocaust?” The museum runs workshops for schoolchildren in year six – both Jewish and non-Jewish. The focus is on stories of bravery and rescue – children often meet Kindertransport refugees.
At the Imperial War Museum I came across examples of Kindertransport clothing. From October 1938 until August 1939, the British government accepted almost 10,000 unaccompanied refugee Jewish children, escaping Nazi persecution. What the children wore became for many the only tangible evidence of their past life.