Posted on November 10, 2023
Walter Bingham, who turns 100 years old in January, witnessed the burning of books in 1933 and still remembers the events of Kristallnacht.
He saw the destruction of Jewish synagogues and businesses in his home city of Karlsruhe, Germany, and his father, who had a business of printing train timetables, was arrested and sent to Warsaw.
Walter was 15 when he embarked on the journey to Liverpool Street Station in 1939 as part of the Kindertransport, which resulted in the evacuation to safety of over 12,000 children.
To this day, when he closes his eyes, Walter still sees his mother waving goodbye to him at the train station.
Now, 85 years later, the International March of the Living, a global Holocaust education charity committed to keeping the Holocaust memory alive, brought Walter and two other survivors back to Germany last month to retrace their journey to London.
Together with International March of the Living’s Deputy CEO, Revital Yakin Krakovsky, and founder and chairman of UK March of the Living, Scott Saunders, Walter and the two other survivors — who now all live in Israel — flew to Germany to visit the places, schools, and homes they grew up in.
This time accompanied by family members, they then travelled from Germany by train through the Netherlands, by boat to England, and then again by train into London’s Liverpool Street Station — the same journey they took 85 years ago.
Walter told the JC: “I was especially struck, standing again on the deck of the boat going over to England from mainland Europe, by that feeling of unknown that I experienced all those years ago.
“I was older than most other Kinder, but it was a similar feeling for us all, of not knowing where we were being sent and how life would unfold once we were separated.”
Walter near Kristallnacht burned synagogue (Photo: Sascha Schaefer)
“There were occasions where I had tears in my eyes when looking again out over the sea. It was absolutely moving.”
After arriving in England, Walter went on to live a remarkable life.