Archive: 2023

Arundel Players bringing Kindertransport to the stage

Posted on June 13, 2023

Arundel Players are offering Kindertransport by Diane Samuels, directed by Gill Lambourn.

Director Gill explains: “Although English, Diane Samuels is of Jewish descent and Kindertransport is her seminal play inspired by the British offer in 1938 to provide German Jewish children the opportunity of a safe life in Britain albeit without their parents. The difficult and emotional decision is taken by Helga and Werner Schlesinger to send their nine-year-old daughter Eva to England. When Eva, a bright, lively and intelligent child, arrives in London she is fostered by the kindly Lil. We follow her life, learning about and settling into a new world, making friends and establishing a happy childhood whilst doing her utmost to maintain her links with her family and her hopes and plans for them to be reunited. Alongside this story, in 1980 we meet Faith a young woman who is about to leave home to live her adult life and is busy sorting and clearing through old family possessions deciding what might be useful to take with her. Helping her with this are her mother Evelyn and her grandmother. What she discovers in her rummaging has enormous and unforeseen impact on the relationships of the women, as all of the turmoil, trauma, love and conflict that resulted from such well meaning beginnings come to light.

“Often appearing on the exam syllabus, Kindertransport offers a wealth of material about life for German Jews prior to and during WW2 and the emotional impact of childhood trauma on survivors in later life. It is a beautifully written and observed play that is an emotional, intriguing and enjoyable evening of entertainment and an important work resulting from Samuel’s many interviews with Kindertransport survivors. It remains totally relevant today when war continues to affect people in countries around the world faced with agonising decisions to keep their children safe and give them the future they deserve.”

The production is at The Priory Playhouse, London Road, Arundel, BN18 9FA from Monday to Saturday, June 19-24; box office 07523 417926 or

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Harwich to host refugee week event after installation of memorial

Posted on June 8, 2023

A SPECIAL refugee week event will take place in Harwich for the first time following the installation of the town’s Kindertransport memorial.

The Harwich Kindertransport Memorial and Learning Trust said it will be holding a Refugee Week event for the first time in memory of the thousands of Jewish children who arrived in Harwich alone in the months before the Second World War erupted.

The event will take place on Friday, June 23, from 3.30pm to 6.30pm, following an initial gathering around the Kindertransport Memorial statue – Safe Haven – on Harwich Quay.

In Harwich, which was the first and main point of entry for thousands of unaccompanied Jewish child refugees, there will be a series of creative activities focused on life stories, books and poems by, about, and for child refugees.

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Liverpool Street station £1.5 billion revamp puts Kindertransport statue front and centre

Posted on June 6, 2023

Liverpool Street Station Kindertransport memorial

Plans to regenerate of one of the busiest train terminals in the UK will ensure a greater focus on its iconic Holocaust refugee memorial.

As part of a wider £1.5 billion regeneration project, £450 million of upgrades to Liverpool Street Station would focus on addressing accessibility, capacity and overcrowding issues to improve the experience of its estimated 135 million annual station users.

In artist renderings seen by Jewish News, included in those proposed upgrades, the Kindertransport – The Arrival statue (2006) that serves as a memorial to the thousands of unaccompanied European Jewish children who fled to London on the Kindertransport in the Second World War, would be given greater space and prominence in an improved Hope Square.

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Jayne Stevens Directs Kindertransport in Oregon

Posted on June 4, 2023

Kindertransport is a play written by Diane Samuels that tells the story of the evacuation of Jewish children from Germany to England during World War II. The play focuses on the experiences of Evelyn, a young Jewish girl who is sent to England by her parents to escape the Nazi regime. The play explores themes of identity, family, and the impact of war on children. It has been performed in theaters around the world and is considered a powerful and moving portrayal of the Kindertransport program.

Clackamas Community College has the honor of hosting Jayne Stevens’ adaptation of the matinee play with shows at noon and 2:30 p.m. every weekend from May 24 through June 4 at the Clackamas Repertory Theatre.

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Fascinating Archive Revolutionises Space Exploration: From Fleeing Hitler to Southampton

Posted on May 31, 2023

The life story of a teenager who fled Nazi persecution on the Kindertransport and went on to become a world-renowned physicist is told through his archive, on show for the first time at the University of Southampton.

Photos, letters and documents that belonged to Ben Abeles make up the unique and fascinating collection.

The archive contains short telegram-style letters between a teenaged Ben, evacuated to London aged 14 on a Kindertransport train in 1939, and his family back in Czechoslovakia. One, addressed to Ben’s father Ernest and dated 29 September 1941, reads: “Am healthy. Working in kitchen. With Stefan’s help perhaps opening little snack bar. Love to you.”

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From fleeing Hitler to Mars: the scientist who changed space travel

Posted on May 29, 2023
Ben Abeles, photographed in 2008 in front of the Kindertransport memorial at Liverpool Street station, central London.

The remarkable journey of Ben Abeles will be celebrated next week by the opening of a new archiv

Ben Abeles’ impact on science was out of this world. He helped develop alloys that were key components of the radioisotope generators that powered US robot space probes on their interplanetary journeys. Nasa was then able to reveal the wonders of the solar system, from the ancient river beds of Mars to the icy moons of Jupiter.

One of the devices is still in use, providing electricity for the Perseverance robot rover that currently trundles across the surface of the red planet.

Abeles was a brilliant scientist, yet his start in life could not have been grimmer. He arrived in Britain from Prague as a child refugee on the Kindertransport, the rescue effort that helped around 10,000 children flee Nazi-occupied Europe and settle in Britain.

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Clackamas Community College presents “Kindertransport” May 24-June 4

Posted on May 21, 2023

Just before the outbreak of World War II, Britain took in over 10,000 mostly Jewish refugee children from Europe. The rescue effort was known as “Kindertransport.” Separated from their families and fostered out to British homes, most of the children never saw their parents again. Diane Samuels’ extraordinary play is about this emergency immigration and its effect over time on generations. Based on real accounts, centering on the experience of one child, Eva, “Kindertransport” tells a powerful story of survival.

Directed by Jayne Stevens, “Kindertransport” features a dynamic ensemble of Clackamas Community College students, with scenic and lighting design by Chris Whitten, and costumes by Allie Schluchter.

“Kindertransport” runs May 24-June 4, Wednesdays through Fridays, at 10 a.m., Saturdays and Sundays at 2:30 p.m., in the Niemeyer Osterman Theatre, 19600 Molalla Ave., Oregon City.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors (62+) and free for students. Tickets are discounted by $1 if you purchase online. Visit or call 503-594-3153 for reservations.

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Kindertransport nurse was the first to hold the King when he was born

Posted on May 5, 2023

On 5 July 1939 Ingelore Czarlinski, 15, and her sister Marion, 11, two Jewish girls from Berlin arrived in Harwich, a port town in Essex, on the Kindertransport. Just nine years later, Ingelore (now Susan) was the first person in the world to hold the future King Charles in her arms.

Susan, who had coincidentally changed her surname to Charles, had followed in the footsteps of two of her aunts and trained to become a nurse. She got a job working for obstetrician Sir William Gilliatt, who was chosen by the young Princess Elizabeth to attend the birth of her first baby, by caesarean.

Marion wrote in the Association of Jewish Refugees magazine in September 2005: “On 14 November 1948 I invited my sister to tea at my flat in Clapham. The phone rang and an official voice asked her to ring a Whitehall number immediately. Soon after a car came for her. When she arrived at Buckingham Palace she prepared the princess for delivery. The senior nurse assisted Sir William with the operation and Susan waited in an ante room with Prince Philip, who told her she reminded him of the beautiful Greek girls he had known when he was young. Eventually she was called into the delivery room and given Prince Charles to hold until his grandmother, the Queen Mother, took him from her.”

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Long Island Teen Connects With His Roots, Meets Holocaust Survivor

Posted on April 25, 2023

PLAINVIEW, NY — Amid an unsettling time for Jews as acts of anti-Semitism are surging, the United Jewish Appeal paired dozens of Long Island teens with Holocaust survivors.

Due to the lack of remaining eyes from this vital part of world history, each survivor was grouped with a dozen or so students for the Witness Project.

One of the teens, Henry Kettner, is a 10th grader at Plainview-Old Bethpage-J.F.K. High School.

“I thought it would be a really good idea to try and pass on their stories to make sure that they’re never forgotten,” Kettner told Patch.

Kettner, 16, is the only student from his school participating in this program. He would meet his survivor Sabine Breier, who lives in Westbury, every two weeks at the Sid Jacobsen JCC in East Hills.

Even though Sabine was an infant when the Holocaust broke out for her family in Berlin, she brought plenty of perspective to the students.

“Each time she told us more and more about her story,” he said. “She had her older sister with her. [Sabine] got a lot of the stories from her.”

Sabine and her sister were saved by the Kindertransport, a rescue mission in Europe transporting children away from the Nazis.

They were brought to the U.K., living with foster families in England until Sabine was eight. Relatives arranged for her migration to the U.S. a year later with a Jewish family.

While Kettner, who is Jewish, has knowledge of the Holocaust, he was not familiar with the Kindertransport.

The time with Sabine will last a lifetime for Kettner, but for the project, it was culminating with conversations by many of the students Monday night at the Tilles Center.

“I feel it’s a good thing connecting to my roots. I think it’s a really good opportunity, even if you’re not Jewish,” Kettner said of the experience. “Their stories–they’re so insightful. I really enjoyed it.”

As Jews live with anti-Semitism as a reality in society, Kettner learned firsthand how it can spread with such serious consequences.

“It definitely shows what hatred can lead to and what the drawbacks and implications are of hatred,” he said.

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Holocaust survivor shares her story of courage, resilience

Posted on April 20, 2023

A 100-year-old Holocaust survivor and military nurse shared her story during a Holocaust Days of Remembrance observance at Brooke Army Medical Center, April 17, 2023.

Unable to attend in person, Hannah Deutch virtually spoke to a packed auditorium from her nursing home in New York.

Softly speaking in a German accent, Deutch described the terrible events leading up to the Holocaust and the resilience that enabled her to move forward despite her many losses.

Born in Dusseldorf in July 1922, Deutch moved to Bochum, Germany, when she was 2 years old. Her mother, a master hat maker, opened a millinery store and her father worked in business with major organizations and department stores.

Deutch recalled the Austrian-born Adolf Hitler, backed by the Nazi Party, coming into power as the chancellor of Germany on Jan. 30, 1933, and the Nazi-organized youth movement that followed to indoctrinate young “Aryan” people with Nazi ideology.

“He poisoned the children,” she recalled. “The boys were in the Hitler Youth and girls were in the League of German Girls.”

In April 1933, the Nazi Party started boycotting Jewish businessmen and liberal professions and passed numerous anti-Semitic laws, to include the Law for the Restoration of Professional Civil Service, which enabled the government to remove Jews and other “undesirables” from civil service. A month later, university students burned nearly 25,000 volumes of “un-German” books to include those authored by Ernest Hemingway, Jack London, Helen Keller and many Jewish authors.

Deutch recalled when bonfires lit up across Germany. “Jewish people saw what was happening and started going to consulates to get numbers to get out of the country,” she said.

Over the next several years, about 130,000 Jews left Germany seeking safety in South Africa, Palestine, Latin America and Eastern Europe.

A new wave of emigration took place after “Kristallnacht,” or the Night of Broken Glass, which took place Nov. 10, 1938. That night over 100 Jews were murdered, 30,000 Jewish men were imprisoned in concentration camps, and homes, synagogues and businesses destroyed.

Unaware of what was to come, “I went to bed that evening and all of a sudden my bed was shaking,” Deutch said. “My mother was trying to wake me up. The synagogue across the street was on fire.”

“It was so bright it was like sunshine,” she added.

She recalls seeing the firemen lining on the street in front of the building with their arms crossed, watching the synagogue burn. “No one lifted a finger,” she said.

The next morning, Deutch saw long, windowless police cars taking Jewish men away two by two. “After that, it got quiet around me,” she said. “I looked for my friends and they weren’t there. We didn’t know if they had been picked up and killed or got out.”

Overnight, people had started walking over the mountains and across the border into Switzerland, Holland and France. In the weeks after Kristallnacht, more laws were passed calling for Jewish-owned property to be transferred to “Aryan” ownership and preventing Jews from attending German schools, having a driver’s license or owning a vehicle.

With the vast numbers of Jewish refugees, nations began limiting the numbers admitted across their borders. Fortunately for Deutch, her cousin arranged for the 16-year-old to go on the Kindertransport, or Children’s Transport, a series of rescue efforts between 1938 and 1940. Children ages 17 and under, mostly Jewish, were separated from their parents and sent to England to be cared for until their parents could join them, she explained, noting the majority of those parents never arrived.

Deutch, one of the oldest there, recalls being on the train platform with children crying and clinging to her. “They were hanging onto my skirt; they didn’t want to go with strangers,” she recalled. “They would ask, ‘When is my mother going to come?’ It was incredibly sad.”

The children traveled by train to various ports and then boarded a boat for England. Upon arrival in London, they were ushered into an auditorium and, one by one, children were sent home with foster families or relatives. Deutch soon found herself alone in the cavernous hall.

“I said to myself, ‘Dear God, what now?’,” she said. “I had 10 marks on me and didn’t know the language.”

Deutch’s ride finally arrived to take her to a boarding house. Kindertransport officials later asked her what she wanted to do for a profession. She told them a medical doctor or a nurse.

“I went to the hospital and put on a uniform, and I was a nurse,” she said.Deutch and other German refugees were moved to a refugee internment camp in Isle of Man, where she continued her studies and became a registered nurse. Grateful for England’s support, she enlisted in the British army in 1941. She recalls her commanding officer asking her if she’d like to be a cook or a soldier-servant, which was an orderly for an officer. “I told her neither. I am a nurse,” she said.

Deutch met her husband, a Canadian citizen, in 1943 at the Jewish Forces Club. She soon became pregnant and was sent on a ship convoy to Canada, where she remained until after her husband died in 1949.

While there, Deutch went to look at the list of survivors every day to try and locate her family, but only found two cousins. She later discovered her mother and stepfather had escaped via boat from Holland to Chile. The rest of her family remained behind and died in concentration camps.

Seeking to reunite with her parents, Deutch and her two sons traveled to Chile, where she worked at the United Nations as an interpreter while studying to be an accountant, then returned to Canada and became a social worker. She later moved to New York to work as an accountant in an advertising agency. Her sons are now 75 and 77 years old.

She concluded by thanking all present for their contributions to healthcare and to the military. “To save a life is God’s work,” she said.

Deutch continues to be a sought-after speaker and each year at this time, shares her story of survival to ensure no one forgets the 6 million Jewish men, women and children — and countless others deemed inferior – who were murdered by the Nazi regime.


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100-Year-Old Holocaust Survivor Recounts Childhood in Nazi Germany

Posted on April 18, 2023

To mark Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Adopt-A-Savta organization, an Israeli NGO that pairs elderly Holocaust survivors with young people, invited 100-year-old Holocaust survivor Walter Bingham to address English speakers in the Tel Aviv area at a local synagogue. After a special ceremony in memory of the six million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust, Bingham, who appeared very lively for his age, told his life story with great passion to the young Tel Aviv residents.

“I was born in Germany many years before Hitler came to power,” Bingham recounted, noting that even though he was born in Germany, he was never granted German citizenship, as both of his parents were Polish Jews. “I was born in 1924, which puts me in my 100th year of life. I was born in Germany when it was a very highly cultured place, the Germany of Beethoven, Bach and Einstein. One can ask themselves: how could such a cultured country sink so low?”

After Kristallnacht, Bingham was one of the children to go on a kinder transport to England: “The British agreed to take 10,000 children over a one-year period till the war broke out. Fortunately, I was one of the ones selected for this transport in 1939. My mother then took me to the train. The parents were heroes. They took their children to the train, knowing that war would break out. I was 15-years-old and street wise at that time. I knew what to behave like under the Nazis. But there were 4-year-old children screaming mommy, mommy, I love you, and mommy was outside.”

According to him, “I was 15-year-olds old and knew why I was going. But those little children did not. One of the things I could not forgive the British for was unaccompanied children. No parents were allowed to go. So, some children went to hostels, some went to foster parents and some went to a family. You did not know where you were going. Now, I belonged to a religious Zionist youth movement, so I went to a kibbutz in Wales. But some children waited for non-Jews to select them to take home.”

“I was there for a few years,” Bingham said. “After that, I left and went to London to find my own way. At that point, I was drafted into the Polish Army in Exile, organized by the government in exile. I was surprised. I went there and said, ‘I cannot go into your army. I have never been to Poland. I don’t speak Polish and know nothing about Poland.’ So, they released me and I went into the British Army.”

Bingham served for four years in the British Army. He drove an ambulance during the invasion of Normandy, and later on served as a counter-intelligence officer and got to examine Nazi documents in addition to speaking to Nazi war criminals before they were executed in the Nuremberg trials. After the war, he was able to reconnect with his mother, who managed to survive the war thanks to the Swedish rescuing her from certain death. His father perished in the Warsaw Ghetto.

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What was the Kindertransport? King Charles honours rescue of Jewish children

Posted on April 4, 2023

King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla visited a Kindertransport memorial at Dammtor station in Hamburg. PA

Britain’s King Charles III visited a memorial on Friday to 10,000 children who were rescued from Nazi Germany during the Kindertransport.

The statue in Hamburg is called The Final Parting and shows the young refugees leaving for Britain with their belongings in a suitcase.

Most of their parents were murdered in the Holocaust.

It was one of several commemorative moments during the king’s state visit, where he spoke of the “special bond of friendship” that grew between Britain and Germany from the ruins of the Second World War.

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Posted on March 18, 2023

Speakers: Melissa Hacker, Wendy Henry, and Dr. Amy Williams

From December 1st, 1938, through September 1st, 1939, nearly 10,000 mostly Jewish children traveled from Nazi Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Danzig to the United Kingdom without their parents. This rescue mission became known as the Kindertransport. In 1990, more than 50 years later, a group of Kindertransport survivors in New York City came together to establish the Kindertransport Association (KTA – This unique volunteer-run organization was founded not solely for survivors, but as an intergenerational group with the missions of connecting these child Holocaust survivors and descendants, educating the next generations on the Kindertransports as an important part of Holocaust history, and supporting and advocating for children at risk today, especially refugees and those without parents.

In 2019, KTA president Melissa Hacker, whose mother fled Vienna on a Kindertransport in January 1939, created and organized an 80th-year commemorative journey. Over two weeks four Kindertransport survivors, now in their late 80s and early 90s, returned to the countries they fled, accompanied by fourteen members of the second generation. Traveling by train and ferry, the travelers traced the Kindertransport journey, visiting memorials, learning from scholars, and conducting family research along the way. Melissa, a filmmaker, will discuss the trip and show excerpts from 256,000 Miles From Home, a new film she has just finished about this trip. She made her directing debut with the documentary My Knees Were Jumping; Remembering The Kindertransports, the first film made on the Kindertransports, which was shortlisted for Academy Award nomination. Melissa consulted on the 2018 exhibit Rescuing Children on the Brink of War, jointly presented by Yeshiva University Museum and Leo Baeck Institute and provided material for Without a Home: Kindertransports from Vienna, a 2021 exhibit at the Vienna Jewish Museum.

Wendy Henry, a JGSNY member and a longtime member of the KTA, will speak about her experiences on the trip. Wendy found family photographs she had never seen before in archives in Berlin and met in London with a member of the Schlesinger family who created the hostel where her mother lived. Wendy’s mother, who was born in Berlin, became an early childhood educator and began working at hostels in Britain with child Holocaust survivors before emigrating to the United States.

Dr. Amy Williams, who spoke with the Kindertransport Journey travelers at the Wiener Holocaust Library in London, will talk about her Kindertransport research. She recently completed her PhD in History at Nottingham Trent University, where she is a part-time lecturer. Her thesis, Memory of the Kindertransport in National and Transnational Perspective, is a comprehensive examination of the different national and international memories of the Kindertransport. Dr. Williams is writing a book on the Kindertransports for Yale University Press and is working with other publishers to produce new publications on their history and memory. Amy works with the KTA and is in New York City for 2023 on a postdoctoral fellowship at the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility at the New School.

Ticket Info:
In-person tickets: $5 general; free for CJH, Leo Baeck, KTA members; registration required here. Free for JGSNY members; RSVP to

Zoom registration: $5 general admission HERE; CJH members (those who have donated $50 or more in the past year) please email and mention that you are a CJH member and would like the Zoom link.

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Holocaust survivor’s story told in migration exhibit on display in Columbus

Posted on March 15, 2023

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OPINION – My Austrian passport is for the dog; the UK gave refuge to my family

Posted on March 11, 2023

A few days ago, I became Austrian. This wasn’t a total surprise — I’d applied for citizenship soon after their government amended the law to enable the descendants of those fleeing Nazi persecution to do so. To be clear, I retain views on making my grandparents stateless but I had been looking forward to acquiring an EU pet passport for my dog, Gracie. Free movement of beagles, if you will.

If this sounds flippant, it’s by design. I don’t feel grateful, guilty or really anything at all. This is a transaction and all the parties know it. They took something from my family and I’m claiming it back, with as little emotional energy expended in the reclamation as they exerted in the expulsion.

My gratitude is focused towards Britain, which took in both of my grandparents. Otherwise, they may have been murdered somewhere in eastern Europe, two more added to the list of 65,000 Austrian Jews exterminated in the Holocaust. Though, we must be honest with ourselves, the Kindertransport is no moral indemnity for Britain, only a small crack flowing from the catastrophic failure of the Evian Conference.

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The Kindertransport refugee who is still writing books at 94

Posted on March 10, 2023

W hen dining with Lore Segal, it might be wise to watch your words. The Austrian-born writer subscribes to Nora Ephron’s adage that everything is copy. That’s especially true for her encounters with her circle of close female friends, which over the years have been rendered into fiction via her Ladies Lunch series.

The stories, most originally published in The New Yorker, are wry appraisals on ageing and how this shifts our relationships.

Mostly they feature a version of Segal, today a sprightly 94-year-old living on the Upper West Side, more than eight decades after she fled to Britain on the Kindertransport. These, plus three other essays, form part of a Ladies Lunch collection published in the UK this month.

They are built on a real lunch, one that has been meeting for the last 20 years. “These stories come from picking up on some theme or story or something that has happened,” explains Segal, who is well known for her novels and short stories in the US and has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. “The characters are real, but the characters’ names are not [those of] my real friends.”

Segal arrived in New York in 1951, having spent the war in a series of foster homes, studying her eccentric English hosts (some Jews, others Christians keen to convert her) with the same curiosity a botanist might have for exotic plants. Remarkably, she was reunited with her parents early in the war, after English authorities helped them secure domestic servant visas.

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Vienna’s UK embassy honours diplomats and clergy who saved Jews from Nazis

Posted on March 8, 2023

The UK ambassador recently discovered her own grandmother escaped on the Kindertransport

A plaque honouring the memory of British officials and Anglican clergy who saved thousands of Jews from the Nazis was unveiled at the British embassy in Vienna.

The ceremony was led by Lord Pickles, the government’s special envoy for post-Holocaust issues and co-chair of Britain’s Holocaust Memorial Foundation, and the president of the Austrian parliament Wolfgang Sobotka.

The diplomats and clergy went into action after the Anschluss of March 1938 when Hitler’s troops annexed Austria.

It was an emotional morning at the embassy for Britain’s ambassador to Austria, Lindsay Skoll, who told attendees she had often found herself close to tears reading the accounts of those whom British diplomats and clergymen had tried to save.

Ms Skoll discovered only recently that she herself was the grandchild of a Holocaust survivor. Her grandmother, born in Germany, found sanctuary in Vienna as a child before making it out on one of the last Kindertransport trains, settling in the north-east of England. Her grandmother kept this a secret until almost the very end of her life.

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German federal parliament president pays respects at Kindertransport memorial

Posted on February 25, 2023




The president of the German Bundestag (federal parliament) visited the Kindertransport (Children’s Transport) monument at Liverpool Street Station.

The visit coinciding with the 85th anniversary of the Kindertransport, Bärbel Bas, representing the national parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany, placed a stone beside the famous memorial statue, in the presence of Kinder and their families.

Also in attendance were representatives from The Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR), World Jewish Relief, as well as Lord Eric Pickles, special envoy for post-Holocaust issues of the UK government.

(Also see similar article at

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Bradford’s Kindertransport hostel was sanctuary in the war

Posted on February 22, 2023

ARRIVING at the docks in Dover in late 1938, the children from the Kindertransport tried to be brave. They had no idea where they would be going. No idea who would look after them.

Some children were collected by relatives. Others sat waiting. They had no family to greet them. “Be polite to whoever looks after you”, their parents had said, waving them off from cities across Europe. The children knew their parents were sending them far away as a last resort. The children didn’t want to be impolite and to be returned.

Someone in an official uniform read out names. About 20 boys aged 14-16 stepped forward. Three women approached and smiled at them. “We’re taking you to Bradford,” they said. “It’s a few hours away on the train but there you will have a home. We will feed you and you will be well looked after. You will be safe.”

And so began the journey of the boys to their city of sanctuary for the war years.

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BBC series tells the story of Tyneside’s Holocaust refugee house for girls

Posted on February 18, 2023

A BBC Sounds series narrated by Desert Island Discs presenter Lauren Laverne tells the remarkable and previously unknown story of how more than 20 young girls were rescued from Nazi persecution and brought to the small town of Tynemouth, east of Newcastle, and supported by the small local Jewish community.

In a nondescript terraced house overlooking the sea, the girls lived together for about a year in 1938. Once war was declared, they were collectively relocated from 55 Percy Park to Windermere in the Lake District for the next six years.

Speaking to the JC, series co-creator Joanna Lonsdale said: “The story of Tynemouth’s Kindertransport girls is a remarkable one and one that we just couldn’t believe had been forgotten. Everyone knows the story of the Windermere boys — there’s even a movie about it. But nobody knows that there was also a community of girls there that escaped the Holocaust.

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