Kindertransport Survivor Walter Bingham Marks Historic Milestone

Posted on January 31, 2024


World’s Oldest Active Journalist, Celebrates 100th Birthday. “On a good day I feel in my 40’s”

Born Wolfgang Billing on January 5th 1924 in Karlsruhe, Germany, Walter’s childhood took a dramatic turn as Hitler rose to power. Walter witnessed some of the most dramatic war event during his life, like the Kristallnacht in 1938 and the burning of books by the germans in 1933.

Poignant holocaust memorial service held at Lowestoft rail station

Posted on January 31, 2024

A town fell silent as dozens of people turned out to remember others during a poignant service.

Eastern Daily Press: People turned out to pay respects on Holocaust Memorial Day 2024 in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick HowesPeople turned out to pay respects on Holocaust Memorial Day 2024 in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes (Image: Mick Howes)

Near to where hundreds of young Jewish refugees had arrived in 1938, the people of Lowestoft gathered during a special ceremony to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day.

The annual service of remembrance was held inside The Parcels Office at Lowestoft Railway Station on Saturday.

The event, organised by Lowestoft Town Council, reflected upon the town’s role in the ‘kindertransport’ program, while millions of people who died in the Holocaust, and subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur were remembered.

With the theme of this year’s event being ‘Fragility of Freedom’, the commemorative service also marked the 30th anniversary of the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.

Eastern Daily Press: MP Peter Aldous at the Holocaust Memorial Day 2024 event in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick HowesMP Peter Aldous at the Holocaust Memorial Day 2024 event in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes (Image: Mick Howes)

The mayor of Lowestoft, Sonia Barker, welcomed attendees before a series of reflective words from MP Peter Aldous and Lowestoft town councillors Wendy Brooks and Andy Pearce.

Eastern Daily Press: Lowestoft town councillor Wendy Brooks at the Holocaust Memorial Day 2024 event in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick HowesLowestoft town councillor Wendy Brooks at the Holocaust Memorial Day 2024 event in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes (Image: Mick Howes)

Eastern Daily Press: Lowestoft town councillor Andy Pearce at the Holocaust Memorial Day 2024 event in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick HowesLowestoft town councillor Andy Pearce at the Holocaust Memorial Day 2024 event in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes (Image: Mick Howes)

The service also featured poems and readings from high school students at Benjamin Britten Music Academy, Ormiston Denes Academy, East Point Academy and Pakefield High School in Lowestoft.

The Pianist of Willesden Lane

Posted on January 31, 2024

Acclaimed pianist Mona Golabek is the daughter of Viennese pianist Lisa Jura, whose life was thrown into turmoil in the late 1930s by the spread of fascism in Europe. Golabek has kept her mother’s legacy alive by recounting her story — first in a book called The Children of Willesden Lane: Beyond the KindertransportA Memoir of Music, Love, and Survival, then by starring in the book’s celebrated theatrical adaptation, The Pianist of Willesden Lane, presented by Ensemble Theatre Company February 1-18.

Mona Golabek stars in ’The Pianist of Willesden Lane’ | Photo: Hershey Felder Presents

“When I was a little kid, my mom taught me the piano,” says Golabek. “In these piano lessons, she told me the story of her life … with all of these interesting characters, the music came so alive.” Golabek developed and performed a nascent version of the stage production, which caught the attention of theater artist/pianist Hershey Felder. No stranger to a single-performer, biographical theater piece (Felder is known for similar shows about musicians like George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein), Felder adapted Golabek’s story for the stage. The production (also directed by Felder) began its life cycle at the Geffen Playhouse in 2012 and has since traveled all over the world.

In Felder’s rendition, Jura’s story is told in the first person. “Hershey challenged me to become my mother,” says Golabek. “He told me to go buy a red wig, and I thought he was crazy. But I did it … I came to understand the absolute beauty of what he was trying to do here. To inhabit her spirit and her soul.”

In the show, Jura (played by Golabek) is a refugee who never gives up on her dream of becoming a pianist. The various piano pieces Golabek plays throughout the story offer dramatic sensory texture to her mother’s courageous narrative. This tapestry of music and memory brings our shared history to life on stage at the New Vic.

The Pianist of Willesden Lane, an Ensemble Theatre Company production, is on view at the New Vic (33 W. Victoria St.) February 1-18. For more information and tickets, see

Israel’s president hosts Kindertransport survivors on 85th anniversary of rescue operation

Posted on January 25, 2024

One of the survivors in attendance was forced to flee her home again, this time because of the Hamas terrorists attacks in Israel on Oct. 7.

Kindertransport and Oct. 7 survivor Mirjam Szpiro with President Isaac Herzog and first lady Michal Herzog, and chairman of the International March of the Living Shmuel Roseman, in Jerusalem on Jan. 24, 2024. Photo by Haim Zach/GPO.

Kindertransport and Oct. 7 survivor Mirjam Szpiro with President Isaac Herzog and first lady Michal Herzog, and chairman of the International March of the Living Shmuel Roseman, in Jerusalem on Jan. 24, 2024. Photo by Haim Zach/GPO.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog hosted Holocaust survivors at his residence in Jerusalem on Wednesday, including 10 Jews saved from Nazi persecution during World War II by the Kindertransport rescue operation launched 85 years ago.

The gathering took place three days before International Holocaust Remembrance Day, an annual U.N.-designated event commemorating the six million Jews and others murdered by the German Nazi regime and its accomplices.

One of the survivors attending with her family was Mirjam Szpiro, 88, who as a child was rescued from Nazi Germany in 1938 by the Kindertransport (German for “children’s transport”), which brought thousands of Jewish children to Britain in the years following the Kristallnacht pogroms of Nov. 9 and 10, 1938.

Szpiro was again evacuated from her home after the Oct. 7 massacre by Hamas terrorists in southern Israel, having to leave Kibbutz Zikim on the Gaza border.

“We had been told we had to evacuate and suddenly I had déjà vu. I was standing there, an 88-year-old woman outside her home, and I suddenly remembered the 3-year-old girl I was. I didn’t remember these things before, the emotions, but suddenly I was back there. And this is the second time I leave my house,” she said.

She added: “I hope we can return soon. The house was not damaged, and even the tree I planted in the yard two weeks before the war survived.”

Tens of thousands of Israelis were internally displaced from their homes in the south and the north following the Hamas assault and ensuing war in Gaza, which Hezbollah in Lebanon joined in support of Hamas.

The other Kindertransport survivors in attendance were Aliza Tenenbaum, Tova Gorfine, Henry Foner, Walter Bingham, professor Daniel Reis, Paul Alexander, Frieda Schalkowski, George Shefi and Barry Davis, son of the late Ruth Davis.

Bath woman, 95, ‘owes her life’ to Kindertransport after family killed in Holocaust

Posted on January 25, 2024

A 95-year-old care home resident from Bath says she ‘owes her life’ to Kindertransport after escaping Germany in the Second World War.

Friedel Hollis managed to avoid being sent to a concentration camp after being put on a train out of the country like thousands of other Jewish children when she was 10-years-old.

She would never see or hear from her parents and sister again. Later discovering what she feared, that they had perished in the Nazi’s concentration camps.

She told ITV News West Country she felt like her family knew they may never see her again.

Friedel Horris
Friedel was moved to Horfield in Bristol where Maurice and Hazel Clayton paid a £50 deposit to take her in.

“Oh they did know, I think they did know because things had moved very fast from the time that war broke out.

She says she had no choice but to adapt to the change.

“We were sufficiently loving and geared to change and falling in with other peoples plans.”

Friedel was moved to Horfield in Bristol where Maurice and Hazel Clayton paid a £50 deposit – as much as a year’s rent – to take in Friedel in July 1939.

She stayed in England, went on to get married, had four children and, after gaining a university degree, became a social worker.

She now has seven grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren and has written a memoir to tell her story.

President’s Residence hosts event marking 85th anniversary of Kindertransport This year marks 85 years since the Second World War began, of which the Holocaust was such a tragic and notorious part.

Posted on January 25, 2024

 Mirjam Szpiro with President and First Lady Herzog and Chaiman of International March of the Living, Samuel Roseman (photo credit: HAIM ZACH/GPO)


The 85th anniversary of the Kindertransport, which brought hundreds of German, Czech, and Austrian children to the United Kingdom, thus saving them from possible death at the hands of the Nazis, had been scheduled to take place last October. But then came the massacre by Hamas, and the Kindertransport event had to be postponed.

In the interim, some of those who had intended to participate passed away, including Ruth Davis, the mother of Jerusalem Post culture writer Barry Davis.

Thanks to the organizers of the March of the Living, the Foreign Ministry, and others, the postponed event was finally held on Wednesday at the President’s Residence, and Barry Davis was there carrying a large photograph of his mother as a little girl.

‘Courage, faith and survival’: 97-year-old Holocaust survivor to speak in Folsom, California

Posted on January 23, 2024
Margot Goldberg’s home was invaded and her father arrested and sent to a concentration camp in 1938. Now, she tells her story of survival.

FOLSOM, Calif. — A 97-year-old Holocaust survivor will speak Thursday in Folsom.

Margot Goldberg will speak about her experiences as Nazis rose and took power in Germany through the 1930s and 1940s. It’s set for 7 p.m. at the Folsom Community Center on Natoma Street, according to the Chabad Jewish Community Center.

Presale tickets are $20 per person and student tickets for $5 are purchasable provided a student ID is shown, according to Rabbi Yossi Grossbaum. The limited number of tickets at the event’s door cost $25 each.

Cristina Mendonsa, a AM radio reporter for News 93.1 KFBK in Sacramento, will host the event.

Goldberg lived in Dusseldorf, Germany, on “Kristallnacht,” or “The Night of Broken Glass,” in November 1938 when Nazis stormed and ransacked her home, arrested her father and deported him to a concentration camp, Grossbaum said.

During Kristallnacht, Nazis killed 91 Jews; deported 30,000 Jewish men to concentration camps; destroyed 7,000 Jewish businesses and burned 900 synagogues, according to the Public Broadcasting Service.

Goldberg’s parents managed to obtain exit visas but ultimately could not escape Germany, Grossbaum said. Her parents found space for her on the organized “Kindertransport,” an effort saving 10,000 Jewish children from concentration camps, he said.

“Margot’s father took her to the train station to say goodbye,” Grossbaum said. “She never saw him, her mother or most of the members of her family again.”

She later discovered her parents died in concentration camps, according to the Chabad Jewish Community Center.

“I encourage everyone who can — young and old — to come hear this remarkable person tell her incredible story of courage, faith, and survival,” Grossbaum said.

Harwich exhibition on Leslie Brent’s Kindertransport journey

Posted on January 22, 2024

A SPECIAL week-long exhibition in Harwich will honour Leslie Brent who was rescued as part of the Kindertransport scheme before making a life for himself in Britain.

The Harwich Kindertransport Memorial and Learning Trust (HKMLT) will present the ‘Safe Haven – Leslie Brent’ exhibition starting on Wednesday, January, 24 at the Harwich Arts & Heritage Centre.

The exhibition will coincide with both Holocaust Memorial Day 2024 and the 85th anniversary of the Kindertransport – where 10,000 mostly Jewish children were sent to safety in Britain during 1938 to 1939.

Harwich was the main port of entry for the thousands of child refugees, with one of them being Leslie Brent (1925 to 2019) who was also taken to a holiday camp in Dovercourt was then a converted refugee camp.

Chris Berwick from Harwich Festival said: “It’s an honour for the Harwich Festival & Harwich Arts and Heritage Centre to host such an inspirational exhibition as part of the 85th Anniversary of the Kindertransport and Holocaust Memorial Day 2024.

“We hope that as many people can come along and see the excellent work that The Harwich Kindertransport Memorial and Learning Trust do and learn about Leslie Brent and his story.”

The “Safe Haven – Leslie Brent” Exhibition will be shown for one week with the opening time as follows:

Wednesday 24: 11am – 15.45pm

Thursday 25: 10am-15.45pm

Friday 26: 10am-15.45pm

Saturday 27: 10am-15.00pm

Monday 29: 10am-15.45pm

Tuesday 30: 10am-15.45pm

Wednesday 31: 10am-15.30pm

Former mayor shares proud story of her heroic grandfather who saved hundreds of children from Nazis

Posted on January 22, 2024

It is 85 years since the launch of the Kindertransport project, recently depicted in the film One Life, starring Sir Anthony Hopkins.

He plays British humanitarian Sir Nicholas Winton, who helped bring groups of Jewish and other endangered children out of German-occupied Czechoslovakia in 1938-39.

Another man who played a major part in saving many children was Alan Overton, the grandfather of former Shrewsbury mayor Jane Mackenzie.

She has delved deep into the history to share his fascinating story.

“You may have seen the recently released film One Life,” she said.

“My grandfather worked with Sir Nicholas Winton (Nicky) and several others, to bring children into Great Britain from war-torn Europe.

“On numerous occasions, my grandfather drove down to Liverpool Street station to pick up the newly arrived, traumatised children, and take them to their foster homes. When he saw that families were more reluctant to take teenage boys in, he set up a hostel in Rugby to home these Jewish refugees.”

To read more of Jane’s research you can visit

Alan Overton also features in the book Get the Children Out! Unsung Heroes of the Kindertransport by Mike Levy.

Jane is also appealing for information if anyone knows any more about her grandfather or the Kindertransport project to get in touch with her. You can email her on

The Kindertransport: What Really Happened

Posted on January 22, 2024

A new book reveals the darker side of the operation that rescued 10,000 children from Nazi Germany.

In the late 1930s, as the Nazis began targeting Jews and sending them to ghettos, work camps, and to their deaths, the British government came up with a plan to save Jewish children. They were going to introduce the Kindertransport, where unaccompanied minors who were under 17 years of age and from the German Reich could gain refugee status and enter Great Britain.

In between 1938 and 1940, around 10,000 children and young people fled from Germany, Austria, Poland, and Czechoslovakia on the Kindertransport to the UK. British child welfare organizations made sure the children would have shelter and education, and Jews, Quakers, and Christians worked together to ensure the safety and protection of these children. The Kindertransport was seen as a success story, and Great Britain was praised for its effort to save thousands of young Jewish refugees.

However, as time went on, stories came out that showed the darker side. And now, in her new book “The Kindertransport: What Really Happened” (Polity, Jan 2024), author Andrea Hammel is setting the record straight on the operation.

Kindertransport couple receive lifetime achievement award

Posted on January 15, 2024


A couple who both came to the UK on the Kindertransport have won a prestigious award for their contribution to the Jewish community.

Ann and Bob Kirk, who have been volunteering at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in St John’s Wood for over 70 years, were recognised for their “service, dedication, love and loyalty” on receiving the Jewish Voluntary Network’s Outstanding Lifetime Achievement award on Sunday.

Ann, 95, who escaped Berlin in 1939, aged 10, began attending the Liberal Jewish Synagogue with her sponsor family, who were members. After finishing at cheder, she continued as a classroom assistant.

Bob, 98, came on the Kindertransport from Hanover, two weeks later, aged 14.

The couple met in 1949, getting married at LJS, with Bob then volunteering at the synagogue’s religious school.

The Kindertransport’s complex legacy

Posted on January 10, 2024

When 200 unaccompanied child refugees arrived in Harwich, Essex, in early December 1938, they did so through a new visa-waiver system. These children from Berlin were escaping Nazi persecution, and eventually more than 10,000 children — mostly from Jewish families — would arrive in Britain via the same process.

Last month marked the 85th commemoration of the Kindertransport. Compared to some of the anti-refugee rhetoric or policies of politicians and governments today, the Kindertransport looks like a model of a successful state-run rescue mission. But is that true?

This sculpture in London commemorating the Kindertransport is part of a series created by Jewish architect and artist Frank Meisler. Each of the five pieces are located in different European cities, roughly representing key points from Meisler’s own journey in 1939. Photo by Steve Daniels via Wikimedia Commons

After Kristallnacht in November 1938, when state-sponsored violence was perpetrated against Jewish citizens across the German Reich, the British government was under pressure from the public to help continental Jewish citizens. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s government was reluctant to offer refuge to Jews, however, fearing for the U.K.’s security, the financial cost and the xenophobic and antisemitic sentiments of some of the electorate. The government refused to commit financial or organizational help, but came up with the compromise of admitting unaccompanied minor children into the U.K.

The decision to only admit the children but not their families is one of the most controversial aspects of the Kindertransport. Some experts have suggested that parting from your own children was seen as more normal in the 1930s; but even in 1938 Home Secretary Samuel Hoare noted the pain that the parents were likely to experience when parting from their children:

“I could not help thinking what a terrible dilemma it was to the Jewish parents in Germany to have to choose between sending their children to a foreign country, into the unknown, and continuing to live in the terrible conditions to which they are now reduced in Germany.”

My own research has shown that child refugees were adversely affected by this separation. For example, Kindertransport refugee Eva Mosbacher was a well-adjusted 12-year-old from Nuremberg, Germany, who settled in successfully with her foster family in Cambridge. Nevertheless, she continuously expressed her longing to be reunited with her birth parents in her letters. In 1942, her parents were deported with 1,000 other Jews and murdered in the Belzyce ghetto in Poland. After the war, Eva stayed in the U.K. and worked as a nurse, but took her own life in 1963.

Some MPs expressed the view that only children who would be of benefit to the U.K. should be admitted. This was reflected in the selection criteria of the Refugee Children’s Committee, an interdenominational umbrella organisation based in the U.K. and tasked with overseeing the Kindertransport. Largely staffed by volunteers, it tried to only admit children who did not have any special needs or health issues. This seems especially cruel when one considers that by 1938 many of the youngsters had lived under the stressful conditions of discrimination and persecution for years.

In addition to rejecting applications if any illnesses or special needs were mentioned, children whose parents had a history of mental health problems were also rejected. Born on April 26, 1926, Herta Baumfeld was not accepted for the Kindertransport because her mother was in a psychiatric institution. Herta was subsequently murdered at the Maly Trostinec concentration camp in Belarus on Sept. 18, 1942.

Financing the escape of the child refugees and their resettlement in the U.K. was especially difficult without the help of the U.K. government. In fact, the government demanded that a “guarantee” of £50 per child was raised by volunteers to indemnify against any expense. This rule limited the number of children that could be given refuge.

What ultimately made the Kindertransport possible? It was the generosity and commitment of private citizens, charities and voluntary organizations in the U.K.

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Walter Bingham, Kindertransport Survivor, Celebrates 100th Birthday

Posted on January 8, 2024

“I could never have imagined that at the age of 100 I would be a witness to the horrific pogrom against Jews that took place on October 7 and the terrifying resurgence of antisemitism since. As I celebrate today, I also pray for the future of the State of Israel and the Jewish people”

— Walter Bingham

JERUSALEM, January 4, 2024 – Today marks a historic milestone as Kindertransport survivor Walter Bingham celebrates his 100th birthday in Jerusalem. Walter, the world’s oldest active journalist, has led an extraordinary life, overcoming the challenges of the Holocaust and emerging as a decorated war hero before embarking on a distinguished career in journalism.

Born Wolfgang Billing in 1924 in Karlsruhe, Germany, Walter’s childhood took a dramatic turn as Hitler rose to power. Expelled from school during the events leading to Kristallnacht in 1938, Walter witnessed the burning of books in 1933 and the arrest of his father, who later died in the Warsaw ghetto.

Sent on the Kindertransport to Britain, Walter vividly recalls the heartbreaking farewell from his mother at the train station. In England, he served in the British Army, earning honors for rescuing soldiers in the Battle of Normandy.

Post-war, Walter became a journalist, a profession in which he still works today, recently entering the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s oldest active journalist. He also found success as an actor, landing a role in the Harry Potter movie. Today, living in Jerusalem, Walter is a proud father, grandfather, and an enduring symbol of resilience.

Reflecting on his journey, Walter said, “I’ve always felt a deep connection to the Jewish people and our homeland. I value the moments I’ve spent fighting against tyranny and promoting the truth through journalism. I could never have imagined that at the age of 100 I would be a witness to the horrific pogrom against Jews that took place on October 7 and the terrifying resurgence of antisemitism since. As I celebrate today, I also pray for the future of the State of Israel and the Jewish people.”

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BBC is facing furious backlash after omitting the word ‘Jewish’ from promotional material for film telling the story of WWII hero Sir Nicholas Winton who saved kindertransport children from the Nazis

Posted on January 5, 2024

The BBC is facing furious backlash after omitting the word ‘Jewish’ from promotional material for a film starring Sir Anthony Hopkins about WWII hero Sir Nicholas Winton, who saved children from the Nazis with the kindertransport scheme.

The new film, One Life, tells the story of Sir Nicholas’ efforts to rescue hundreds of predominantly Jewish children from the expanding Nazi invasion across Europe.

However, the word ‘Jewish’ was not featured on the website of film co-producer BBC Film in its information page, saying only that Sir Nicholas saved ‘669 children’, leading to claims that Jews were being ‘written out of history’.

Co-producers See-Saw Films and distributors Warner Bros used the same wording on their websites.

HMV and several cinemas in the UK, including the Peckhamplex in London, posted on Twitter, formerly X, a promotion for the film which described it as the story of a man ‘who helped save Central European children from the Nazis’.

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OPINION: Kindertransport legacy: Confronting antisemitism in today’s world

Posted on January 4, 2024

The decision to allow Jewish children into the UK took time, persuasion and campaigning. Despite all of that work, it was really the November pogrom, known as Kristallnacht, that served as a wake up call for the rest of the world, showing as it did that the anti-Jewish hate had reached a crescendo and that there was a real risk to Jewish life. Seeing the annexation of Czechoslovakia, it became clear to many that this threat spread beyond Germany and Austria.

The Kindertransport has long been heralded as Britain’s response – seeing the risk, this country led by example, using British values to save Jewish lives. But like so much of the history of the Holocaust, it was complex.

Because while 10,000 Jewish children were saved, the majority of them would never see their parents again – they were not permitted entry and most of them were later murdered by the Nazis.

It took time for the British Government to make the decision to allow these children access. The violence seen rampaging through German towns and cities during Kristallnacht finally tipped the balance, proving to the onlooking world that Jewish people under Nazi control were at imminent risk. But this did not come out of nowhere, it came after years of increasing persecution and antisemitism.

And this ‘rescue’ of children did not come cheap – the bond required for each child was £50, equivalent to £2,780 in today’s money. Private citizens or organisations had to guarantee payment for each child’s care, education, and eventual emigration from Britain. The original plan by the British Government was for these unaccompanied children to return home to their families once the “crisis was over”.

The Kindertransport is not simply a story of rescue and survival. At its heart it is also a story of loss. It is a story of children who came here, many alone and without speaking a word of English, and who managed to rebuild their lives. It is a story of parents, who were forced to make the impossible decision to send their children away to unknown lands. It is the story of the murder of most of those loved ones left behind.

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‘The worst meeting I have ever had’: why a Kindertransport hero rejected a film about his life

Posted on December 31, 2023

As One Life is released, producer says that Nicholas Winton – the ‘British Schindler’ who saved 669 children – was reluctant for his story to be told

Sir Nicholas Winton, who saved hundreds of children from the Nazis, was so modest that he rejected an initial proposal to make a film about him, according to the producer of One Life, the soon-to-be released biographical drama about the British humanitarian.

Iain Canning told the Observer that, about five years before Winton’s death in 2015 aged 106, he and fellow producer Emile Sherman visited him at his Maidenhead home during a break from shooting their film, The King’s Speech.

Over tea, they broached the subject of making a film about the man who helped save 669 children from German-occupied Czechoslovakia, just before the beginning of the second world war, but Winton politely turned them down.

“I still to this day call it the worst meeting I have ever had,” said Canning. “He was 99 or 100 at the time. We said, ‘We think what you did was absolutely incredible and we would love to make a film about that particular moment in your life.’ He said, ‘Oh, no one else needs to know what I did. No one else. Anyone who needs to know about this, already knows about it.’ ”

Canning added: “He was a man with such kind eyes. We were humbled by him.”

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This is what really happened to the children of the Kindertransport

Posted on December 23, 2023

The story of the 10,000 children is seen as a tale of British compassion, but a new book claims the reality was more nuanced

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‘I went from a life of luxury to a straw bed in Stoke-on-Trent’

Posted on December 22, 2023

THE card is faded and yellowed with time, but the smile of the little girl in the black and white photograph is still bright.

She was just three when it was taken, wearing her Sunday best, with her hair neatly parted and smoothed down in a wave.

Beside the picture someone has written her name, date of birth, parents’ contact details and identification number: 5097.

Eighty-four years have passed since Dr Lisa Midwinter, then Liesa Dasch, arrived in Britain – 1,000 miles from her home in the Czech Republic and wearing the document on a string around her neck.

She has kept it, tucked away in a special place, all this time, fondly calling it her ‘ticket to life’.

Lisa kept her identification card from her travel all this time, fondly calling it her ¿ticket to life¿
For Lisa, now 88, was one of the 669 children who escaped the Nazis on the Czech ‘Kindertransport’, a network of trains that helped young refugees from Jewish families flee central Europe and set up new lives in the UK, organised by humanitarian Sir Nicholas ‘Nicky’ Winton.

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Kindertransport — In 1938 London let a few Jewish children in

Posted on December 16, 2023

Statue outside London train station commemorates Kindertransport children. To escape Nazi terror in Europe, for 10 months U.K. rulers let in 10,000 mainly Jewish children, but barred their families. They closed the door on millions seeking refuge from the Holocaust.

LONDON — Kindertransport, the evacuation to the U.K. of 10,000 mainly Jewish children fleeing Nazi persecution in 1938-39, is touted by capitalist politicians and the media as an example of the British government coming to the aid of the Jewish people.

The children came from Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria and Poland over a 10-month period beginning in December 1938. But, “there is history and there is myth,” Andrea Hammel writes in The Kindertransport — What Really Happened, just published by Polity Press. Hammel is a professor of German at Aberystwyth University in Wales. She presented the book at the Wiener Holocaust Library here Dec. 6.

The library itself had been the target of a Jew-hating attack Nov. 2 when its entry sign was spray-painted with the word “Gaza.”

“I wrote the book to make a critical history of the Kindertransport available to a wider audience,” Hammel said, describing the real record of the immigration policies of successive U.K. governments before the Kindertransport program began. The Aliens Act of 1905 was adopted to limit Jewish immigration after tens of thousands of Russian and Eastern European Jews arrived “to escape anti-Semitic pogroms and persecution after 1880,” she writes. Further legislation in 1914 and 1919 added more restrictions.

“It is a fact that in the 1930s the U.K. government’s policy was not laying the foundation for a noble tradition. It was mainly concerned with keeping refugees fleeing Nazism away,” she said.

Between 1933 and 1945, an annual average of just 6,000 Jews were permitted entry. London also put strict limits on Jews trying to get to British-controlled Palestine.

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Humble hero who rescued 100s of children from Nazis haunted by the kids he couldn’t save

Posted on December 16, 2023

Alf Dubs, Vera Schaufeld and Alexandra Greenfeld with Nick Winton

Sir Nicholas Winton never liked being called a hero, but to the hundreds of children whose lives he saved there is no better word.

During the nine months leading up to the Second World War, the London stockbroker, known as Nicky, organised the rescue of 669 children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia. In a race against time before the borders closed, Sir Nicholas and a handful of volunteers arranged train travel to England, visas, funding and foster homes to save the children, who were mainly Jewish, from the Nazis.

The story of his remarkable feat is coming to the big screen in the film One Life, featuring Anthony Hopkins as the older Nicky, and Helena Bonham Carter. Sir Nicholas’s incredible efforts came to light 50 years later in an article in the Sunday Mirror, which led to his being reunited with many of the children he saved on BBC1’s That’s Life! in 1988.

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