The Kindertransports: The KTA, the 80th Year Commemorative Journey, and New Research


March 19, 2023    
2:00 pm EDT - 4:00 pm EDT

Event Type

Speakers: Melissa Hacker, Amy Williams, and Wendy Henry

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 found the Kindertransport Association. This unique organization was founded not solely as a Survivor group, 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 in the summer of 2019 four Kindertransport Survivors, now in their late 80’s and early 90’s returned to the countries they fled, accompanied by fourteen members of the second generation. Traveling by train and ferry from Vienna to Berlin, Amsterdam to Hook of Holland, Harwich to London, the travelers traced the Kindertransport journey, visiting memorials, learning from scholars, and conducting family research along the way. The trip received international press attention and led to new connections, insights, and memories for the participants.

Melissa will discuss the trip and show excerpts from 256,000 Miles From Home, a short film she has just finished inspired by this trip. Wendy Henry, who traveled together with her “Kindertransport cousin” Monique, whose mother lived with Wendy’s mother in the Schlesinger family hostel in London, 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. Wendy will speak on her experiences on the trip. Dr. Amy Williams, who spoke with the Kindertransport Journey travelers at the Wiener Holocaust Library in London and is writing a book on the Kindertransports for Yale University Press, will present on her new Kindertransport research.

In person at the  Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St. New York NY 10011

Co-sponsored by the Leo Baeck Institute, The Jewish Genealogical Society NY, and the KTA

To reserve in person tickets, $5 for the public, free for KTA members, click here

To reserve tickets to watch live on zoom, click here

Photos by Michael Jänecke and Melissa Hacker