Recalling all who perished during the Holocaust, this year’s virtual program features music, greetings, and remarks from Eva Paddock, who survived the Holocaust by being sent on the “Kindertransport” from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia to London at the age of 3.
The overwhelming support for Ukrainian refugees appears almost in defiance of the government’s delay in issuing visas. Rabbi Jonathan Romain, who launched his “Ukrainetransport” in March, says he has “stopped counting” after receiving offers from nearly 1,000 households to host families.
But it begs the question: were British families always so welcoming to refugees? Did the refugees from Nazi Europe, including the 10,000 Kindertransport children in the late 1930s, receive an equally warm response?
MEVASSERET ZION, Israel — A few years ago an enterprising resident of the suburb where I live, just outside Jerusalem, initiated and organized an association providing social and cultural activities for the growing number of retired persons living here.
In a recent class we talked about the Kindertransport, the acceptance by England of ten thousand unaccompanied children under the age of eighteen just before the Second World War broke out. One of the pupils, Zeev, who also grew up in England (the others all grew up in Israel) expressed particular interest in the subject, though he himself did not get to England under that scheme. To the next lesson I brought and lent him the book of essays about the experiences of Kindertransport children in England, No Longer a Stranger, edited by Inge Sadan.
A HOLOCAUST survivor returned to the train station where he first arrived in Scotland after escaping Nazi Germany to share his story with secondary school pupils.
Henry Wuga, 98, joined Poppyscotland and Gathering the Voices to help launch new lessons for Scottish schools, based on his story and that of other young refugees during the Second World War.
Wuga escaped Nazi Germany in 1939, aged just 15, leaving his parents behind in Nuremberg, and came to Glasgow on the Kindertransport.
The tale of a Hampstead stockbroker, who helped to rescue 669 Czech children from Nazi persecution, has inspired books, documentaries, and soon a major film starring Anthony Hopkins.
But before that, audiences can see Nicholas Winton’s story told with puppets at Islington’s Little Angel Theatre.
PROGRESS is being made on a statue which will commemorate the thousands of children who arrived in Harwich from Europe while fleeing from the Nazis.
Sculpted by award-winning Essex artist Ian Wolter, the statue is set to be unveiled on the Harwich quayside this autumn.
Video showing a Kindertransport reunion.
A fundraising campaign to honour an almost forgotten Holocaust hero has been launched in Swanage, near Bournemouth. The Trevor Chadwick Memorial Trust, created two years ago, is unveiling a life-sized statue of the war-time teacher, who worked closely with Nicholas Winton in helping child refugees escape from the Nazis and come to Britain.
Though Nicholas Winton is rightly celebrated for his work in saving the “kinder” and arranging the “kindertransport” trains, it was Trevor Chadwick “who organised all eight trains, and the children to travel on them, taking great risks. He sometimes had to forge permits when they did not arrive in time for the children to travel, and also helped desperate adults”.
PROGRESS is being made on a statue which will commemorate the thousands of children who arrived in a historic port town as part of the Kindertransport.
Sculpted by award-winning Essex artist Ian Wolter, the statue is set to be unveiled on the Harwich Quayside this autumn.
The port of Harwich was the main point of entry for most of the 10,000 children who came to Britain.
A Gloucester building that housed Jewish child refugees fleeing Nazi Germany is to be given a blue commemorative plaque, following a campaign by the son of one of those housed here. The unveiling will mark 82 years since the arrival of these children in Gloucestershire, but not the end of the plight of refugees.
The former hostel on Alexandra Road in Kingsholm was home to 10 boys who were sent hundreds of miles from their families in order to escape the pogroms and the eventual Nazi holocaust that murdered more than 6,000,000 Jewish people in Europe. Many of the children on the Kindertransport were the only members of their family to survive the genocide.
The Alexandra Road hostel was organised by Gloucester Association for Aiding Refugees, who brought in a Checkoslovakian refugee couple to help raise the rescued children. Apart from a safe home, these children were given education, training and jobs by the city that opened its arms.
Almost 30 years after Steven Spielberg brought the story of German Industrialist Oskar Schindler and his rescue of Jews to the big screen, a new biopic about the ‘British Schindler’ Sir Nicholas Winton is soon to start shooting in Prague. With a screenplay by Nick Drake and The Danish Girl’s Lucinda Coxon, One Life will show how the then 29-year-old Winton, arriving in Prague in December 1938 intending to go on a skiing holiday in Switzerland, before changing his plans when he hearw about the refugee crisis in Czechoslovakia. Over the following nine months, Hampstead-born Winton, organised eight trains to carry 669 children.
The inspiring wartime story of a Devon village and church community which offered sanctuary to Jewish child refugees has been turned into a play. Talaton a Wartime Refuge tells the story of how six children who fled Poland as part of the Kindertransport evacuation in 1939, were given homes in the East Devon village of Talaton for the duration of World War Two. The play will have its premiere in nearby Whimple on Monday, April 25.
Ann Chadwick’s father remembered hearing Suzanne Spitzer quietly sobbing in her bedroom, crying “Mutter, mutter” (“Mother, mother”).
The five-year-old had just arrived at the Chadwick family’s Cambridge home on the Kindertransport from Czechoslovakia — one of the 10,000 Jewish refugee children who escaped the Nazis and were taken in by Britain on the eve of World War II.
Chadwick’s recollections of the 11 years Suzie spent with her family are part of a new project undertaken by historian and Holocaust educator Mike Levy. Funded by the US Holocaust Memorial and Museum, he is interviewing British families who gave a home to Kindertransport children.
Their experiences, says Levy, have hitherto been “neglected in the historiography of the Kindertransport.”
Cambridge author and Holocaust educator Mike Levy was able to source material for his recently published book about 1930s Kindertransport children from a tranche of records made publicly available by Cambridge University Library in 2020. The archive of Cambridge Refugee Committee documents from 1938-39 reveal the difficulties of obtaining visas and the dearth – part indifference, part politically motivated – of official financial support to the families who housed the Kindertransport children who arrived in England just before the outbreak of war.
There has been much talk of Britain’s “noble tradition of looking after refugees” and journalists and politicians have taken the story of the Kindertransport as the defining moment in the history of Britain’s policy towards refugees.
There are several problems here. First, the Kindertransport is misleading in several crucial respects. In his important book, Journeys from the Abyss, the historian Tony Kushner shows what is missing from the prevailing account and asks some troubling questions.
If my father hadn’t been saved, his three sons, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren wouldn’t be here today. That’s why I support an openhearted welcome for those fleeing persecution anywhere and have been deeply unimpressed by the responses of recent British governments.
Yet what is happening in Ukraine feels even closer to home. It is partly a question of geography, the constant evocation of the Kindertransports and the parallels drawn between Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Putin.
The Kindertransport Association was formed to educate and inform the “next generations” and the public so that the critical role of the Kindertransport during the Holocaust would not be forgotten. But that is only one part of our mission. We carry the burden of ensuring that the horrors imposed by the Holocaust on our families and the world shall not be forgotten. With this mission in mind, the Kindertransport Association most strongly condemns president Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine
To cite the kindertransport as evidence of a “noble tradition” of welcoming refugees is to betray the facts and to deceive ourselves.
It is quite true that 9,000 Jews came to Britain on the kindertransport. But why exactly was it children who were admitted, given that it was Jews of all ages who faced the threat of lethal Nazi persecution in Europe?
The answer is not flattering. Special provision was made for those children because Britain refused to let in their parents.