Growing up with parents or grandparents who didn’t talk about, or didn’t know, the details of how they and their relatives survived, escaped or were murdered during the Holocaust, many of us are searching for details and documentation. It could be as part of a school family history project, assembling a family tree and finding distant relatives, or to apply for citizenship in our ancestors’ country of origin. There can be something very meaningful about finding documents with details, for example that your grandmother Esther left Berlin on a Kindertransport to London on January 15, 1939, or that on July 17, 1942 your mother’s cousin Pauli was deported from Vienna to Auschwitz.
Not all research can be done online, some requires going in person to archives, museums, town halls or schools. The resources listed below are a good place to start.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum – Fill out an online request form, and researchers will search through a large collection of records. Kindertransport family members have been able to find information including the dates of the Kindertransport that their relative was on, through USMMH research. While their priorities are to assist survivors and families, they have many requests to fulfill, and they ask you to please have patience, and expect responses within 1-3 months. Tel: (+1) 866.912.4385
The Central Fund for World Jewish Relief – Is the successor organization of the Committee for the Care of Refugee Children in London, and holds their records, as well as records for many other Jewish refugees assisted by the Central British Fund for German Jewry (CBF) . Unfortunately, many records were lost or destroyed after the Kindertransport children were no longer under the care of the Committee, so not all searches may not will be successful. Tel: 0208.736.1265
The British National Archives – In London may have records.
The Wiener Holocaust Library – This research library and exhibit center in London is one of the world’s leading and most extensive archives on the Holocaust, the Nazi era and genocide. They hold a set of the KTA Oral History Project interviews and have many Kindertransport documents.
The Sir Nicholas Winton Trust – Holds an archive that contains information on the 669 children rescued from Prague by the Nicholas Winton group. Founded by Sir Nicholas Winton’s daughter, Barbara Winton.
The Jewish Community in Berlin – May know where the records listing children on trains from Berlin can be found (often children gathered in Berlin from other towns before departing), and may have records on children and their families from Berlin. Records of families can often be found in the records of the town halls in the city of origin.
The Jewish Community in Vienna – Has records on the Kindertransport children and their families from Vienna.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum – Holds records on microfiche from the Vienna Jewish Community: Archive of the Jewish Community Vienna Jerusalem component collection. PART 1: FILM NUMBER 1-812 Jerusalem component collection (Call Number: RG-17.017M) PART 2: FILM NUMBER 813-1430. These records from Vienna may also been found at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People Jerusalem (CAHJP).
The Jewish Community in Prague – May have records on children from Czechoslovakia and their families.
The Leo Baeck Institute – Has a collection of Kindertransport materials.
The Harwich Society – To learn more about Harwich, the port in Britain where many of the children arrived, which is developing a Kindertransport memorial and educational tour to be established in 2022.
The Scottish Jewish Archives – Has information on KIndertransport Survivors and Jewish Refugees who spent time in Scotland.
The Kitchener Camp online exhibition – Has a list of names of the Jewish men and boys who passed through Kitchener Camp.
The Bad Arolson Archives – May be searched online to find information on victims and survivors of Nazi persecution.
The Yad Vashem Archives – Are an invaluable resource in Holocaust family history research.