Members of the Kindertransport have urged the government to reopen safe routes for refugees in Europe, especially children, trying to reach the UK or risk more tragedies occurring in the Channel.
Alf Dubs, Stephanie Shirley and Erich Reich, who all arrived in the UK as child refugees on the Kindertransport, said the UK was losing its moral authority in the world and urged the government to change tack.
When Lord Dubs saw children being carried wrapped in blankets out of small boats in Kent he was instantly taken back to the moment he arrived in Britain on the Kindertransport having fled the Nazis at the age of six. “What it made me feel is terrible pain for the people who are fleeing,” says the 89-year-old Labour peer. “People must be pretty desperate, having traveled so far anyway, to risk their lives in this way. It made me feel dismayed that our government is not enabling them to be safe.”
The Watford Inter Faith Association gathered to plant an oak tree within the Peace Garden at Cassiobury Park on December 5.
Led by the Association of Jewish Refugees, it was to honour the people and places that symbolise the enormous contribution of Jewish refugees.
Among those honoured were Harold Meyer, former Chair and Honorary President of the Watford Inter Faith Association and also Victor Garston, who both arrived in England on the Kindertransport in 1939.
The centrepiece of the Maltings commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day is FÜR DAS KIND / For the Child, a major photographic exhibition by artists Rosie Potter and Patricia Ayre.
The pair asked survivors to share the personal belongings that accompanied them as children on the Kindertransport. Very often these objects were the last physical contact the children had with their parents. The exhibition opens in the Maltings Handa Gallery on January 18, until January 29.
With its frayed leather cover and well-thumbed pages, it is an ordinary German-to-English dictionary.
But for one of the last Jewish children to flee Vienna after the Nazis took power, this was a vital tool for her new life in Britain. The book, on show in a new exhibition on the Kindertransport, belonged to Susanne Perl.
Born Susanne Spritzer, she carried it with a ticket onto the train that brought her safely out of Austria, before she found a temporary new home in Edinburgh.
It is particularly disappointing to find that the Kindertransport, an important historic chapter, that reflected the best of humanity and should serve of a beacon of hope in the darkest of times, is being forgotten. Now more than ever it is critical that we find new and innovative ways to perpetuate the memory of the Holocaust through education. Not just for the memory of the six million who were murdered and the survivors still with us, but for the generations to come.
“The Story is Here” exhibit ends with tributes to the present-day families and passed-down creative passions of the Minnesotan Kindertransport
A FREE educational programme, which highlights Harwich’s pivotal role in the Kindertransport rescue, is being offered to schools across the country. The lesson plan, which was produced by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and the Harwich Kindertransport Memorial and Learning Trust, will encourage students to learn more about the mission which rescued 10,000 children from the Nazis. The port of Harwich was the main point of entry for most for the children who came to the UK.
Whenever I used to think of the kindertransport it was with gratitude to the organizers in Europe and Britain. I never gave much thought to the trauma the children and their parents must have gone through. I never stopped to imagine how my mother and her sisters felt having to leave their mother knowing that their father had already been arrested by the Nazis.
An array of priceless belongings tell the story of the Kindertransport at the IWM’s new £30 million Second World War and the Holocaust Galleries in London. They are three times the size of the museum’s award-winning First World War Galleries, span two floors and see IWM become the first museum in the world to house comprehensive spaces dedicated to the Second World and Holocaust under the same roof.
Black was one of 10,000 children evacuated to Britain and other countries during the “Kindertransport,” an effort to save Jewish children from what became the Holocaust. After fleeing Germany on a train in 1939, Black was taken in by a family in England. Later he joined the British Army and went on to fight the Germans in Holland. He never saw his parents again.
The problem of communicating between generations was tackled in a concluding discussion at the AJR conference. Danny Kalman, a trustee of the AJR, who chaired the session, is the son of a Kindertransport man from Frankfurt who arrived in Britain in 1939. But as he later made clear, for years he never spoke about his background or even his own Jewish identity. “I am able to be so much more open about things now”, he said.
Right within the forecourt of Liverpool Street station, parked in front of the entrance, stands a statue of five young children. Their expressions- pensive, confused, wonderstruck- are as immortalised in bronze as the teddy bear the youngest girl is clutching. The Arrival, by artist Frank Meisler, is a memorial to the 10,000 Jewish children that arrived in Britain, seeking refuge from Nazi tyranny across Europe.
The exhibit “Kindertransport — Rescuing Children on the Brink of War” (a project of the Yeshiva University Museum and the Leo Baeck Institute) tells the story. The American Swedish Institute (ASI) is hosting the exhibit through October in partnership with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas and the Greenberg Family Fund for Holocaust Awareness at Beth El Synagogue.
Erika’s father was a decorated First World War veteran who, along with his wife, had converted from Judaism to Catholicism. Her parents shielded Erika from her Jewish ancestry and sent her to a convent school. Then, in May 1939, Erika’s parents told her the family were emigrating but that she would have to go in advance while they put their affairs in order. Erika, then 10, did not realise she was being placed in Kindertransport. Neither did she realise she would never see her parents again.
The children arrived at the castle in Abergele in 1939 as part of the 10,000 Jewish refugees who escaped to the UK from Nazi-occupied countries and at the time, only refugees aged 17 or under were allowed into Britain. Among those were teenagers Herthel and Gerhard, who met at the castle at age 14 before starting new lives in London and later getting married and having two children.
Article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine on the new Kindertransport memorial and exhibit opening in Frankfurt.
In 1989, a couple of dozen people assembled at the Carlton Hotel in Bradford. Many had not seen each other for half a century. They had all been invited by Albert Waxman, a textile magnate. Exactly 50 years before their gathering, shortly before the Second World War, they had all met as child refugees in what was then called the Bradford Kindertransport Hostel.
Barbara Winton, daughter of the late Sir Nicholas Winton who organised the Kindertransport, draws parallels between the plight of Afghan refugees and those fleeing the Nazis
An exhibition at the American Swedish Institute – actually two exhibitions, but related – asks us to look back more than 80 years to another time when children were separated from their parents, who believed they had no choice but to let them go.