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January 17, 2018

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Kindertransports

 

            After
November 10, 1938 the Jewish families and other people involved in the
Holocaust knew that they had to get their kids out of the way of the Holocaust.
Kindertransports where made so that Jewish kids had a safe place to go in
Britain and other places where they would not be in any danger.

            After
Hitler rose to power many parents who could not escape for themselves had to
make the decision of keeping the child with them or sending them off with some
strangers to some place safe. Each child was only allowed to take one suitcase
and one rucksack. Most of the contents they could take where restricted. Not
only did the kids have to be separated from their families but they where
separated from the things that they valued most because they had to pick and
chose what they took with them and sometimes what they really wanted to take
they couldn’t because a lot of things where restricted. The Nazi policy had to
allow this opportunity for the children (Levy, Emanuel Into The Arms Of
Strangers).

The Kindertransports
was only able to work if organizations or private citizens could guarantee
payment for each of the child’s care, education, and emigration from Britain
once it was safe (Kindertransports, 1938-1940). Sometimes special gifts such as
money, bedding, and clothing where donated to the homes that these kids where
staying. Many of the families that took in these children were treated well and
developed close bonds with them. But the kids who where not lucky enough to get
a nice family where not treated very well at all sometimes they even got abused
(Kindertransport History).

The first
Kindertransport train of 200 kids arrived in Harwich, Great Britain December 2,
1938.  Most of these kids where brought
from an orphanage in Berlin. The orphanage had been destroyed during the
Kristallnacht. The transports where planned by the Greater German Reich
(Kindertransport 1938-1940).

            A
young girl named Marianne shared her story. She did not speak much English and
everything around her is different and weird and hard to understand. Not very
many people accepted her because she was Jewish and they thought of her as a
German spy. At the first home she went to her host mother was not nice to her
at all. She had a daughter who had died and tried to change Marianne’s name to
the daughters name and all the mother wanted was a girl who would work as a
domestic servant (Watts, Irene: Seeking Refuge).

            Another
young girl Marion Charles who lived in Berlin had shared her goodbye story. She
had already said goodbye to her parents but her father decided to follow the
train she was on to the next station so that they could say one last goodbye.
Marion was excited to see her father again and to give him one last hug and
kiss but as he was walking to the train a group of men also know as SS men and
large dogs pushed all of the parents away from the train and they did not get a
last goodbye (Kindertransport). Saying goodbye to your family is a struggle
already but watching your dad being pushed away by SS officers makes it even
harder.

            As
you can see many of these children went through some rough times. None of these
kids knew if they where going to see their parents or any of their family
again. Making a decision to send a child away has to one of the hardest
decisions ever but you know if you do send them away that they will be safe
even if that means that you will never see them again. Only 1000 kids got to be
reunited with their families.

            Kids
over the age of 14 who hadn’t been sponsored or fostered normally had to do a
short course of training and then joined the British Labor Force, which was
performing domestic service or agricultural work. When kids reached the age of
18 took up arms against Nazi Germany by volunteering for the British or
Australian Military. Some of the Kindertransportees were shipped to Canada on
the same boat as German prisoners of war. Some were shipped on a boat to
Australia named Dunera also known as the “hell-ship” because conditions where
so bad (Kindertransport, European History).

            Most
transports where by train. Sometimes if there was not a train then you would go
by boat, whatever was easier. But if trains and boats where not available then
sometimes if it was necessary planes would be used too. It’s wherever you are
located or what route was the easiest.

            After
the war was over many of the children from the transport programs became
citizens of Great Britain, or emigrated to Israel, the Untied States, Canada or
Australia. Most of these kids never got to see their family because they could
not be found or they died in the Holocaust (Holocaust Encyclopedia).

            Around
10,000 kids where saved from the Kindertransport. Many of these kids where
Jewish. Most of the time babies and toddlers where not able to go through the
program because there was nobody to care for them unless they had an older
siblings but even then it had to be hard because the older child was trying to
keep themselves safe. When these children left their family they had no idea
what to expect. Being torn away from your parents is one thing that you will
never forget and what you have to live with for the rest of your life always
wondering what they would have been like or if they where still alive or not.
Being a Kindertransportee was probably one the hardest things those kids went
through.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work
Cited

https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005260

http://www.kindertransport.org/history04_Britain.htm http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/nazi-germany/kindertransport/

https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005260

 

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Kindertransport

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