In late August 1939, one week before the outbreak of the Second World War, 13-year-old Dieter Eger said goodbye to his parents and boarded a train in his hometown of Frankfurt, Germany. He was bound for England as part of a rescue effort, the Kindertransport (children’s transport), mounted by British refugee groups to save Jewish children from Nazi terror. The operation — made possible by the British government’s decision to allow unaccompanied minors from the German Reich to enter as refugees — saved about 10,000 Jewish children, including Eger.
“It’s such a deeply personal part of his history: this saved his life,” said Eger’s son Phil Emberley, a retired Ottawa pharmacist.
Emberley is one of at least three descendants of Kindertransport survivors who live in this city; two of them will speak Wednesday at a city hall ceremony to mark the launch of a new exhibit, For the Child.