Children's Exodus: A History of the Kindertransport by Vera K. Fast

By Vera K. Fast

Within the months prime as much as the outbreak of global conflict , Britain rushed to evacuate approximately 10,000 Jewish youngsters from the Nazi occupied territories. during the exceptional cooperation of spiritual and governmental companies, the Kindertransport spared hundreds of thousands of Jewish childrens from the phobia of the 3rd Reich and supplied them with host households in Britain. Children’s Exodus deals an in-depth examine the folk and politics in the back of a number of the chains of rescue in addition to the non-public narratives of the kids who left every thing in the back of within the wish of discovering protection. Drawing on unpublished interviews, journals, and articles, Vera ok. speedy examines the spiritual and political tensions that emerged during the migration and from time to time threatened to convey operations to a halt. Children’s Exodus captures the life-affirming tales of kid refugees with bright aspect and examines the motivations -- non secular or in a different way -- of the folk that orchestrated one of many maximum rescue missions of all time. 

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Extra info for Children's Exodus: A History of the Kindertransport

Sample text

The Jewish Chronicle carried the following, among dozens of similar appeals: ‘desperate parents beg benevolent people to take care of their boy’ (14 July 1939); ‘a mother begs good-hearted people to get a permit for two charming girls, 11 and 12 years of age. Father in Dachau’ (16 December 1938); ‘please help me bring out of Berlin two children, 10 years, very best family, very urgent’ (23 December 1938). 6 The refugee situation in Great Britain at this time was complex. Labour unions and professional organizations just recovering from the Great Depression feared that an influx of refugees might jeopardize British jobs.

39 Orphans were given priority at all centres and some desperate parents abandoned their young children at the doors of orphanages to give them an added chance of life. Children with a parent already in a camp or in danger of incarceration, and teenaged boys released from camps or threatened with detention were also classified as ‘urgent’ and were among the first to leave. News of the Kindertransport spread rapidly in Europe in various ways – ‘the Rabbi’s wife told my mother’; ‘my mother’s doctor informed her’; ‘my cousin was going’ – as well as through Jewish newspapers and organizations.

71 The arrangement of using older children worked only insofar as the older child was responsible enough to provide the care that was needed. It was, after all, children looking after children. 73 And so it was 31 CHILDREN ’ S EXODUS that some were comforted while others, also only children, were the comforters. In some cases the windows and doors of a Kindertransport were sealed once the children were on board; in others, the children travelled in ordinary passenger cars. 74 Sometimes SS guards were assigned to a particular train, and the children were very afraid of them.

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