George Kovacs, a designer, manufacturer and importer of innovative and stylish modern lighting fixtures who introduced the ubiquitous halogen torchiere to the United States, died Friday at his home in Manhattan. At the age of 12, he was one of the first of thousands of Jewish children placed on what were called Kindertransport trains and sent to foster homes in England after the Nazis occupied Austria.
Next year it will be 70 years since Sir Nicholas Winton, a former stock exchange clerk, helped 669 Jewish children escape Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia. Mr Winton’s story has gained worldwide attention and continues to inspire countless people. Throughout 2008, students at cooperating film schools across Europe and North America will work on productions either inspired by Mr Winton’s story or similar stories of sacrifice and selflessness in the world today.
Link to BBC interview with the writer Vera Gissing, a Czech child rescued by the Kindertransports organized by Sir Nicholas Winton.
Joseph Haberer was one of the 10,000 children rescued from Nazi Germany and transported to England in 1938-1939. He told his story last week to an audience of mainly seventh and eighth graders at Carroll Jr.-Sr. High School. Haberer was four when the Hitler regime came into power. He said his father was employed by the government as a clerk. When Hitler took over, Haberer’s father, and all other Jews, were fired. “It was during the Depression. We were very poor,” he said.
Between December 1938 and the eve of war, 10,000 children travelled to the UK in an operation known as the Kindertransport. For a lucky 200, their sanctuary was Gwrych Castle, near Abergele, north Wales, which was given to the government as a place of refuge. And for the first time in 60 years, some of those who lived at Gwrych have returned to their childhood haunt.
‘There was a real sense of community, like a Kibbutz…’ Between 1939-1948, nearly 300 Jewish children were saved because they passed through Magill’s farm on the Woburn Road Millisle, thanks to the Kindertransport.
Susanne Medas remembers the loss of her parents following the tragic events of 1938.
Last weekend Kindertransport Survivors gathered in Burlingame to tell their stories. While they shared with each other, they also focused on passing their experiences on to the next generation. Ilse Lindemeyer said she didn’t speak about her Kindertransport experiences for many years. When she did, it felt like “a dam broke,” and she couldn’t stop telling her story.“Since then I’ve been speaking about it at schools,” she said. “I feel it’s my duty. I want them to know what happened.”
KTA members Sel Hubert, Robert Sugar, Walter Porges, and Erika Estis tslk about their Kindertransport experiences.
On the grounds of an estate in the English countryside, 15 middle-aged Jewish men from the United States, Canada, Britain and Israel made a pilgrimage Tuesday to pay honor to the woman who rescued them from Germany on the eve of World War II. They had come thousands of miles to thank Dorothy de Rothschild, their benefactor. ”Without her all of us here would have been just a statistic of the Nazi death camps,” said Henry Black of Britain, one of the participants.