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The Kindertransport (German for “children’s transport”) was an organised rescue effort that took place during the nine months prior to the outbreak of the Second World War. The United Kingdom took in nearly 10,000 predominantly Jewish children from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and the Free City of Danzig. The children were placed in British foster homes, hostels, schools and farms. Often they were the only members of their families who survived the Holocaust. I noticed a memorial of these at London Liverpool Street and then researched further. It is a harrowing story and one that I believe should never be forgotten. Years gone by, monuments have been funded and placed around various trains stations and docks around where the children came from. I have tried to find them if I was going to the city.
The first monuments were sculpted by the late Frank Meisler who was born into a Jewish family in Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland), he was evacuated by the Kindertransport in August 1939, travelling with 14 other Jewish children via Berlin to the Netherlands and then to Liverpool Street station in London. His parents were arrested three days after his departure, held in the Warsaw Ghetto and later murdered at Auschwitz concentration camp.
The Arrival – London Liverpool Street Station
Trains to Life – Trains to Death, Berlin Friedrichstraße station
The Departure – Poland, Gdańsk Główny station
Channel Crossing to Life – The Netherlands, Hook of Holland
The Last Farewell – Germany, Hamburg
The next monuments were sculpted by the Venezuelan artist Flor Kent, who modelled on the type of suitcases brought by the children who arrived in Britain in 1938 and 1939 as they fled from the Nazis. Each kindertransport allowed children to bring only one case often mementos such as aprons, spectacles, books and photographs packed by their parents. Within two years of arriving in Britain, most of the children were orphans.
London Liverpool Street
Vienna, Westbahnhof Station
I find it interesting that one statue made me look into the Kindertransport and I so pleased to have found so many.