Saving Jewish children from the Nazis: 85 years since Kindertransport

Posted on November 18, 2023

The leaders of the Kindertransport were tireless in creating the frameworks and overcoming the obstacles that saved many lives.

 RINGING THE dinner bell at a camp for young Kindertransport refugees, at Dovercourt Bay near Harwich, 1939. (photo credit: Reg Speller/Fox Photos/Getty Images)
RINGING THE dinner bell at a camp for young Kindertransport refugees, at Dovercourt Bay near Harwich, 1939.
(photo credit: Reg Speller/Fox Photos/Getty Images)
November marks the 85th anniversary of the Kindertransport project, in which 10,000 Jewish children between the ages of eight and 16 were sent by their parents to Britain in the 10 months after the Nazi pogrom known as Kristallnacht. This article is dedicated to the kinder (children), their families, and all who made this truly humanitarian project possible.

I was born in London, a few years after the Holocaust ended. My parents were among the 10,000 Jewish children evacuated to Britain from Germany, Austria, Holland, and Czechoslovakia between the end of 1938 and August 31, 1939. My mother was 11 and my father 16.

The leaders of the Kindertransport were tireless in creating the frameworks and overcoming the obstacles that saved many lives. While the British, and almost everyone else, did not want thousands of Jewish adult refugees, they agreed to accept the children – perhaps to counter pressure to open the gates to the Land of Israel (mandated Palestine). In contrast, the US Congress rejected a similar plan, and Canada’s policy was summarized in the book by Irving Abella and Harold Troper titled None is Too Many.

Related Website »

The Kindertransport changed so many lives, but it had its failings

Posted on November 17, 2023
The Kindertransport changed so  many lives, but it had its failingsKing Charles visits the Kindertransport – The Final Parting Memorial at the Dammtor railway station in Hamburg (Photo by RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images)

Eighty five years ago the British public woke up to the news of the November Pogrom — Kristallnacht — in the German Reich. Newspapers reported that on 9 and 10 November 1938, villages, towns and cities saw widespread state-sponsored violence perpetrated against Jewish people, Jewish-owned property and synagogues. UK readers were horrified and demanded action from their government. However, the government of the time, led by Neville Chamberlain, was reluctant to make a generous offer of sanctuary to Jewish refugees. They were worried about the country’s security, cautious about the cost and concerned about causing a potential rise in anti-foreign and antisemitic sentiments in some sections of the UK electorate.

A few days later Chamberlain met with representatives from the Anglo-Jewish community, who had been leading the call for refugees in the UK, and from the Quakers, who were able to support those in need of refuge on the Continent. Among other ideas, temporarily admitting a number of unaccompanied children was discussed. Just a week later, on 21 November, the Home Secretary, Sir Samuel Hoare, announced this scheme as the government’s new refugee policy. The Kindertransport scheme was born — though the term was used widely only much later.

The scheme was now governmental policy, but it was not backed by government finances or given organisational support. Chamberlain made this clear in his speech in the House of Commons: “With regard to the United Kingdom, the number of refugees which Great Britain can agree to admit, either for a temporary stay or for permanent settlement, is limited by the capacity of the voluntary organisations dealing with the refugee problem to undertake the responsibility for selecting, receiving and maintaining a further number of refugees.” This meant that voluntary bodies not only had to select children but also fundraise in order to organise and support the entire process. Large-scale admission of refugees to the UK had happened before (eg Belgian refugees during the First Wold War). Even child refugees arriving without their families was not new (it happened during the Spanish Civil War) but this was a gargantuan undertaking. Continental organisations had been involved in child emigration for several years, though initially most had rejected the idea of unaccompanied child emigration. They were now under increased pressure because of the mounting persecution, and many struggled to cope with the number of desperate parents asking for help.

The major drawback of the scheme was the fact that only those under the age of 17 (later lowered to 16) were to be admitted — and not their parents and adult family members. Politicians were fully aware of what they were asking of parents. Hoare stated in Parliament: “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”. By November 1938 conditions were clearly so terrible that many parents were willing to take this step and part from their children.

Related Website »

The Unsung Hero Who Saved Thousands of Children During the Holocaust

Posted on November 10, 2023

In 1997, musician Miriam Keesing came across photos of a boy she didn’t recognize while sorting through the attic of her late father’s home in Castricum, a seaside village just outside of Amsterdam.

When Keesing asked her aunt who the boy was, she replied, “Oh, that’s Uli. He was a refugee child. He lived with us for a while.” Intrigued, Keesing started looking into the child’s story, identifying him as Gerhard Ulrich Herzberg, a German Jew who escaped from the Nazis and arrived unaccompanied in the Netherlands shortly after Kristallnacht, the “Night of Broken Glass,” on November 9 and 10, 1938. Keesing’s grandparents took him in at the start of World War II, but restrictive immigration laws barred him from joining the family when they fled to Cuba in 1942. Left behind in the German-occupied Netherlands, Uli was deported to the Sobibor extermination camp, where he was murdered in March 1943, a few days shy of his 16th birthday.

Discovering Uli’s fate made Keesing question what happened to the thousands of other Jewish children who sought refuge in the Netherlands during the Holocaust. Her research led her down a long, circuitous path that helped unearth the hidden history of a wartime hero: Geertruida Wijsmuller-Meijer, also known as Truus Wijsmuller (pronounced WEISS-muller). Keesing believes the Dutch resistance fighter, who was not Jewish, never crossed paths with Uli. But Wijsmuller saved as many as 10,000 other children, mainly through the Kindertransport from Nazi-occupied Europe to Great Britain and the lesser-known Dutch Kindertransport.

Gerhard Ulrich "Uli" Herzberg
Gerhard Ulrich “Uli” Herzberg Dokin / Courtesy of Miriam Keesing

“I got to know her through the archives,” Keesing says of Wijsmuller. The theme of the materials she found, particularly letters, was clear: “Whenever something difficult had to be done with refugee children, people would say, ‘Well, you should ask Mrs. Wijsmuller.’”

Related Website »

Kindertransport refugees retrace historic journey from Germany to UK

Posted on November 10, 2023

Walter Bingham, who turns 100 years old in January, witnessed the burning of books in 1933 and still remembers the events of Kristallnacht.

He saw the destruction of Jewish synagogues and businesses in his home city of Karlsruhe, Germany, and his father, who had a business of printing train timetables, was arrested and sent to Warsaw.

Walter was 15 when he embarked on the journey to Liverpool Street Station in 1939 as part of the Kindertransport, which resulted in the evacuation to safety of over 12,000 children.

To this day, when he closes his eyes, Walter still sees his mother waving goodbye to him at the train station.

Now, 85 years later, the International March of the Living, a global Holocaust education charity committed to keeping the Holocaust memory alive, brought Walter and two other survivors back to Germany last month to retrace their journey to London.

Together with International March of the Living’s Deputy CEO, Revital Yakin Krakovsky, and founder and chairman of UK March of the Living, Scott Saunders, Walter and the two other survivors — who now all live in Israel — flew to Germany to visit the places, schools, and homes they grew up in.

This time accompanied by family members, they then travelled from Germany by train through the Netherlands, by boat to England, and then again by train into London’s Liverpool Street Station — the same journey they took 85 years ago.

Walter told the JC: “I was especially struck, standing again on the deck of the boat going over to England from mainland Europe, by that feeling of unknown that I experienced all those years ago.


“I was older than most other Kinder, but it was a similar feeling for us all, of not knowing where we were being sent and how life would unfold once we were separated.”

“There were occasions where I had tears in my eyes when looking again out over the sea. It was absolutely moving.”

After arriving in England, Walter went on to live a remarkable life.

Related Website »

King Charles enjoys affectionate moment with refugees who fled Nazis as children on WW2 Kindertransport

Posted on November 10, 2023

King Charles III enjoyed a sweet moment with Jewish refugees who fled Nazi persecution as children via the British Kindertransport rescue mission as he visited a synagogue in London today.

Security is likely to have been very tight at the Central United Synagogue in the West End as the 74-year-old monarch marked the operation’s 85th anniversary.

Charles met the group from the Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR) as well as Chief Rabbi Sir Ephraim Mirvis and Lord Lieutenant for London, Sir Kenneth Olisa.

He also met the synagogue’s president Michael Goldstein, its senior rabbi Barry Lerer, AJR trustees chair Michael Karp and AJR chief executive Michael Newman.

In a short clip, the King could be heard saying: ‘Some familiar faces,’ as he sat down to join them at the table.

Speaking to a man who was sat down, Charles, 74, said: ‘I hope you’re keeping in reasonable…’ to which he said: ‘We’re still here,’ which made the King chuckle.

Charles then said: ‘You are remarkable, I was trying to remember how old you were when you arrived,’ to which the man then responded: ‘I’m 98’.

The monarch then said: ’98. And you were what – six or seven, eight or something?’

‘Familiar faces, marvellous!’ King’s affectionate meet with refugees
The Monarch, 74, enjoyed a sweet moment with a group of refugees as he chatted to them today

The Monarch, 74, enjoyed a sweet moment with a group of refugees as he chatted to them today

Related Website »

Holocaust survivor George Shefi retraces escape 85 years on

Posted on November 8, 2023

A crowd of 50 or 60 people jeer as a Jewish shopkeeper tries to scrub antisemitic graffiti off the pavement.

Hats and broken glass are strewn all over the road in front of a destroyed Jewish-owned hat shop.

This is what six-year-old George Shefi sees outside his Berlin apartment building after the Nazi pogroms of November 1938.

“I see still the picture in my mind, all the hats, and the glass, as if it was yesterday,” says George, who is now 92 years old and lives in Israel.

He fled Nazi Germany as a small child without his parents. He was one of about 10,000 mostly Jewish children evacuated to the UK after the attacks, in what became known as the British Kindertransport programme.

George has now come back to Berlin, in time for the 85th anniversary of the pogroms, to retrace his childhood journey of escape from Nazi Germany.

He remembers the smashed shops outside his home on Hauptstrasse in the Berlin district of Schöneberg, and being told not to go outside for a few days after the pogroms. He was shocked when he found out that his school, which was attached to a synagogue, had been burned to the ground.

But he didn’t know this was happening across Germany. And he didn’t realise that his life was about to change forever.

George Shefi as a young boy
George Shefi was a young boy living in Berlin when the pogroms began
George Shefi and his family in Berlin
Each time George (far left) returns to Berlin, he makes sure to take a photo on the same steps with his extended family

Related Website »

The misery of the Kindertransport children

Posted on November 5, 2023

Wrenched from their parents and familiar surroundings, the young refugees found safety in Britain, but were tolerated rather than cherished, says Andrea Hammel

Related Website »

You Need to Know About This Jewish Lesbian Activist and Holocaust Survivor

Posted on October 27, 2023

Eva was born on Aug. 17, 1925 in Vienna to (what she described in the Smith College Voices of Feminism Oral History Project in 2004) as “a rather typical bourgeois Jewish Austrian” family. Her mother Margarete was a poet, translator and “very creative woman,” and her father Otto was an architect who built several apartment buildings in Vienna.

Despite this prosperous family and upbringing, Eva became aware of injustice in the world from a very early age, in part because of antisemitism. Starting at the age of 6, Eva was called “a dirty Jew” at school, beaten up and treated unfairly by teachers. “I would look at myself in the mirror and say, ‘There’s nothing wrong with me. I look nice,’ ‘I like myself,’ she recalled to the Smith Feminism Oral History Project. “And I did. There’s nothing wrong with me. I don’t even look very different from them. What is it they see that I don’t see, you know?”

A handful of years later, Hitler and the Nazis annexed Austria and Eva and her family’s lives “had changed, unalterably, in that minute.” She was no longer allowed to attend her regular school and was forced to go to a boarding school for Jewish girls in Vienna. It was there that Eva got her first taste of activism. “We would walk two by two, along with the teacher, and we had to be always very careful because we were Jewish children. But when the teacher wasn’t looking, because they trusted us, and we’d walk through this park, we’d quickly sit down on the bench, even though that bench was marked, ‘Juden verboten,’ ‘no Jews permitted,’” she explained, once again to the Smith Feminism Oral History Project.

She went on, “We would just sit down, put our little behinds on that bench and sit there for a minute. It made us feel very rebellious. Now it sounds very trivial but you know, actually, we could have gotten into a lot of trouble. It was defiance and refusing to be treated as some unspeakable kind of person who’s not allowed to sit on a bench. So that’s activism.”

Quickly, however, Eva’s parents realized that they needed to get their family out of Austria. In 1939 they put Eva and her brothers on the Kindertransport to England. Luckily, Eva’s parents also managed to get out of Europe and they were all reunited in New York by 1940. (Most other children on the Kindertransport weren’t so fortunate; 90% of them would lose their parents in the Holocaust.) Eva’s family made their new life on Staten Island. Eva’s mother taught English to refugees for 25 cents an hour and worked to become a masseuse and her father was a door-to-door salesman, selling vacuum cleaners. Eva attended and graduated from Curtis High School. Here, Eva would once again get involved with activism, joining the Trotskyist Workers Party and learning about Marxism and labor organizing.

After nearly four years with the Workers Party, and a brief stint working with them in Detroit, Eva tired of the group’s misogynistic male leaders. She left the Workers Party in 1946, divorcing her first husband whom she had met in the group, and decided to go back to school. (You can learn all about this part of her life in the “Exile” podcast, narrated by Mandy Patinkin!) From 1946-1951, Eva attended Brooklyn College, receiving her Bachelor’s degree in German literature in 1951. Around this time, she married her second husband, Gert Berliner, a German-Jewish abstract expressionist painter and fellow Holocaust survivor. Together, they helped found and operate Cafe Rienzi in New York’s Greenwich Village, a European-inspired coffee house frequented by artists and intellectuals like Allen Ginsberg, James Baldwin, Jack Kerouac and Richard Wright. They also had their only child, Uri, in 1956.

In 1959, the couple separated and in 1963, Eva earned a master’s in German from Columbia University. That same year, she was hired as a literature professor at Sarah Lawrence College. During her 30 years at Sarah Lawrence, Eva accomplished one of her great achievements of the many in her life: she, along with professors Gerda Lerner, Joan Kelly and Sherry Ortner, founded one of the first women’s studies courses ever taught.

Related Website »

Celebrating the Kindertransport refugee who dressed Britain’s Jewish brides

Posted on October 23, 2023

Nettie (Natalie) Spiegel, whose couture label Neymar dressed generations of Jewish brides, and is celebrated in the Museum of London Dockland’s new Exhibition, Fashion City, How Jewish Londoners Shaped Global Style.

The exhibition, which opens today, features one of Neymar’s exquisitely beaded wedding dresses, which can still command upwards of £3,000 on vintage fashion sites.

But the true value of the dress lies in what it symbolises: the story of the penniless Jewish refugee who came to London and not only made a success of her life in her adopted homeland, but who also shaped the British fashion industry.

Portrait of Sara Raiher on her wedding day Courtesy of Sara and Michael Raiher


Related Website »

Kindertransport-inspired lessons expand to Western Australia

Posted on October 7, 2023
Jill Rabinowitz running an In My Pocket project workshop at South Perth Primary School.

Jill Rabinowitz running an In My Pocket project workshop at South Perth Primary School.

The In My Pocket Project, based on the autobiography of the late Dorrith Sim (nee Oppenheim) – a Jewish German girl saved by the Kindertransport in 1939 and adopted by a Scottish family – reached a new milestone last month when it ran its first two educational workshops in Western Australian public schools.

The free two-hour book reading and creative art sessions were delivered to year 5 and 6 students at South Perth Primary School, and Maylands Peninsula Primary School, also in Perth.

They were led by Jill Rabinowitz, and produced such positive impacts, that both schools have already booked the We Are Here! Foundation’s educator and co-founder for repeat workshops next year. There are also bookings for more WA government and private schools, as well as at public libraries and museums.

Maylands Peninsula Primary School students showing their artworks done during an In My Pocket project workshop.

The project, coordinated and founded by Eli and Jill Rabinowitz, is already being run by all five Jewish day schools in Sydney, at Perth’s Jewish Carmel School, and at West Coast Steiner schools in Perth, and now has a Melbourne-based representative too.

In My Pocket Project workshops are designed to fit into the humanities and social sciences curriculum, which has units focusing on migration, and themes of inclusivity, diversity and multiculturalism.

Once she was safely in Scotland, Sim used to learn the English language by storing each new word in a “pocket” in her memory, as she described it.

Feedback about the workshop from West Coast Steiner School year 5 students included, “I learned that you can find light even in the darkest of places”, “I think that Dorrith felt like children should know what is happening in the world, and I agree”, that Sim’s story “tells people that kindness from strangers can really save a life”, and, “It’s important for people to learn about how refugees might be feeling and how they can help.”

A South Perth Primary School teacher said, “The session helped develop a greater sense of empathy for people displaced from their homes by war, discrimination and natural disasters.

“Jill had some challenging questions that required them to think critically about the text and the illustrations.

“I loved the theme of kindness and spotting the acts of compassion along the way.”

With the continuing success of the project across Australia, it is set to expand to Cape Town in South Africa later this year.

To find out more about the We Are Here! Foundation’s In My Pocket project, or to make a donation, visit

Related Website »

Haunted by the Kindertransport and COVID-19, this 95-year-old Jewish writer chronicles a changing world — over lunch

Posted on September 27, 2023

At 95 years old, Lore Segal is one of the oldest working American writers. Her newest collection follows an aging friend group over decades of shared lunches.

When Lore Segal first started writing, she had a single purpose in mind. Soon after arriving in England in 1938 on the Kindertransport from Nazi-occupied Vienna, the 10-year-old girl launched a letter-writing campaign to get her parents out too. It worked: Within a year, they were reunited. Now 95, Segal has four novels and dozens of short stories to her name and is one of the oldest active American writers. Though her stories may be fictional, they’re often informed by her own life and infused with the urgency of that first, all-important project.

Her latest collection, Ladies’ Lunch and Other Stories, features a group of five erudite, sharp-witted nonagenarians, all longtime New Yorkers, who have maintained a regular — if chaotic — schedule of get-togethers for the past 40 years. “We are the people to whom we tell our stories,” one reminds the group, outlining a project that can only grow more pressing as memories fade and death — or worse, the nursing home — threatens.

Segal’s great themes are friendship, family, and growing old, but the memory of the Holocaust often looms over these seemingly domestic concerns. Sometimes clocking in at fewer than 1,000 words, her stories are minimalist in style but monumental in feeling, capturing the rich yet ephemeral texture of ordinary lives haunted by a catastrophic past. And as the title suggests, she also sets out to rescue the concept of “ladies who lunch” — not just from the Sondheim song that popularized the phrase, but from the derision with which many male writers and younger people have treated groups of old women.

Related Website »

Kindertransport: Birmingham plaque honours Holocaust hero

Posted on September 23, 2023

A plaque has been unveiled in honour of a woman who helped save hundreds of children from the Holocaust.

Bertha Bracey aided relief operations in Germany and the Netherlands before and after World War Two.

A founder of the Kindertransport, she helped rescue thousands of Nazi victims and lone children between 1933-1948.

The plaque was unveiled by the Birmingham Civic Society and Bournville Village Trust at Bournville Quaker Meeting House.

Her great-nephew, Steve Bamford, said the plaque was a “great honour”.

“We knew that Aunty Bertha had an OBE, but we were never quite sure what it was for and she didn’t really talk about it,” he said. “She wasn’t one for blowing her own trumpet.

“It really wasn’t until after she died we realised quite how important her role was.”

Related Website »

Anthony Hopkins Plays a Holocaust Hero in Upcoming Movie About Kindertransport

Posted on September 13, 2023

The story of Winton and the Kindertransport will be the subject of the upcoming film “One Life,” coming out on January 1, 2024, in which Anthony Hopkins plays an older Nicholas Winton, and that iconic moment of TV gets reenacted by Jewish actress Samantha Spiro.

It looks like Hopkins, who most recently played a Jewish-Ukrainian grandfather in “Armageddon Times,” gives a moving performance as Winton, from what can be seen in the trailer of the movie which was released earlier this week.

“Do you ever think of the children and what happened to them?” he asks, adding that these people’s stories, their rescue, is “really not about me.”

Trailer here:

Related Website »

Sir Anthony Hopkins to play man who saved 669 children

Posted on August 11, 2023

Sir Anthony Hopkins playing Sir Nicholas Winton - still from the filmFor the millions watching at home it was an unforgettable 

In February 1988 on BBC’s That’s Life! a man called Nicholas Winton came face-to-face with some of the 669 Jewish children he had saved from the Nazis prior to World War Two.

A surprise reunion, it brought to light a remarkable story – one which has now been turned into a Hollywood film.

And it is set to star Port Talbot’s Sir Anthony Hopkins as the Holocaust hero dubbed the British Schindler.

Entitled One Life, the movie will tell of how Sir Nicholas, a London stockbroker who was knighted for his humanitarian accomplishments in 2003, helped get young Jewish refugees out of occupied Czechoslovakia in 1938.

The Kindertransport (Children’s Transport) was a rescue programme of children from Nazi-controlled territory.

Approximately 10,000 children, the majority of whom were Jewish, were sent to Great Britain between November 1938 and September 1939.

Related Website »

KINDER, Inspired by Czech Kindertransport, Will Embark on UK Tour This Autumn

Posted on August 5, 2023

Kinder, Smoking Apples, credit The Other Richard

Inspired by real-life events, the joyful and poignant Kinder heads on tour this autumn.  Telling the story of one small girl who embarks on a mighty adventure, the multiple award-winning Kinder tells the story of the Czech Kindertransport, which evacuated Czech-Jewish children to Britain at the outbreak of World War II.

Young heroine Babi crosses Europe on this epic journey; from bon bons in Germany to the sea in Margate, Babi discovers how even tiny acts of kindness can change the course of a person’s life.  Babi tries to assemble the parts of her broken identity and find peace in her future, having escaped persecution just before the start of World War II, and been sent far from home.  Kinder is inspired by the real events of the Czech Kindertransport, which saw young children evacuated to seaside towns across the UK, a remarkable evacuation effort pioneered by Brit Nicholas Winton, which saved 669 children.

Kinder, made in collaboration with Little Angel Theatre, aims to provide high-quality and inspiring theatre for teenagers, bringing them incredible real-life stories through a dynamic and immersive setting.  From puppetry and visual theatre company Smoking Apples, the production invites the audience into an immersive set, allowing them to go on this incredible journey with Babi.  Kinder features table-top puppetry and cinematic shadow play to tell Babi’s story.  Smoking Apples has created a self-sufficient, self-contained set that can go into all settings, including non-theatre venues such as schools, to bring this tale to life on the road.

Related Website »

Composer Carl Davis

Posted on August 4, 2023

The KTA mourns the death of Carl Davis. A brilliant composer of music for films (including The French Lieutenant’s Woman, directed by Kind Karel Reisz), he wrote ‘Last Train to Tomorrow’ a Kindertransport piece for children’s chorus that the KTA, The New School & Mannes College of Music premiered in NYC in 2019 as part of our commemoration of the 80th year of the Kindertransports, at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center as part of 3 days of events.

Related Website »

Revisiting the Kindertransport: Kindness Amidst Separation and Horror

Posted on August 3, 2023

Nearly 85 years have passed since the first Kindertransport from Nazi-occupied Europe. Despite abundant documentation that England’s accepted approximately 10,000 Jewish children, the stories of refugees’ travails and how their lives evolved are not nearly as well known. Kindertransport children contributed greatly to their adopted homeland and to society at large, despite traumatic separation from their families, varied placements as fostered or adopted children, evacuation to the countryside during the “Blitz,” and subsequent challenges.

Liverpool Street Station Kindertransport Memorial.
(Credit: Jewish News, UK)

Considering the odds against them, the extent to which those children lived full, successful lives is staggering. Artists, industrialists, businessmen, jurists, statesmen and others have served the United Kingdom and world well. This is not to imply that all refugee children’s experiences were positive; certainly, some were mistreated and exploited. Nevertheless, that individuals and families in a country under siege absorbed significant numbers of displaced strangers, and did so, overall, with kindness, is remarkable.

Related Website »

Dame Esther Rantzen: ‘Nicolas Winton film moved me to tears’

Posted on July 30, 2023



Dame Esther Rantzen has said a new film about “British Schindler” Nicholas Winton moved her to tears.

The television presenter, who recently revealed that she had been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, brought the Jewish stockbroker’s remarkable story to light in 1988.

Forty nine years earlier, Winton had abandoned a planned skiing holiday to travel to Prague and help evacuate refugees.

Aware that tragedy was looming as the Nazis began to occupy the country, he travelled back to Britain to lobby the government to accept more Jewish children.

After the war, Winton moved on with his life and his story was largely forgotten until Dame Esther invited him onto That’s Life!

As he sat in the front row, she asked the audience if anyone had been saved by him, and dozens of people stood up.

When Dame Esther asked if anyone was a child or grandchild of one of the children brought to England thanks to Winton, the entire audience rose.

The account of how Winton helped 669 Jewish children escape will now be dramatised in a new film starring Anthony Hopkins and Johnny Flynn.

“Of all the literally thousands of stories we told in the 21 years of That’s Life, the one that showed the very best and the very worst of humanity was the revelation that Nicky Winton had saved a generation of Czech Jewish children from the Holocaust,” she told The Telegraph.

“I was worried about a feature film’s treatment. My fears were unjustified.

“From the moment I saw Anthony Hopkins looking and sounding almost exactly like Sir Nicholas, I knew the story would be told sensitively and accurately.”

Related Website »

Meet the 200 Kindertransport children who found refuge in a Welsh castle

Posted on July 30, 2023


Between 1939 and 1941, more than 200 Kindertransport children escaped war-torn Europe to Gwrych Castle in north Wales. There, the people looking after the youngsters developed a successful hachshara — an agricultural training scheme — for them.

While Kindertransport has been well researched, the focus has been very much on individual experiences.

By contrast, training centres such as the one at Gwrych Castle — better known these days for its starring role in I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here during lockdown — have been somewhat neglected; as one historian commented, they were “transient phenomena” that “left few traces on the ground”. Now my new book, Escape to Gwrych Castle, a Jewish Refugee Story, attempts to redress the balance.

Related Website »

First pictures of Nicholas Winton film with Anthony Hopkins as ‘British Schindler’

Posted on July 25, 2023

The moment Nicholas Winton comes face to face with just a few of the Jewish children he saved from the Nazis on That’s Life, in 1988, is one of the most iconic clips in British television history.



Now the first photographs from an eagerly awaited film about the story leading up to that moment have been released.

Starring Anthony Hopkins and Johnny Flynn as older and younger versions of Winton, the man who saved 669 Jewish children from the Nazis through the Kindertransport project, and Helena Bonham Carter as his mother Babi, One Life will cement the Jewish stockbroker’s reputation as one of the heroes of the war effort.

Related Website »