From kindergarten to Kindertransport

By Lucky Gold, CNN

Monday is world Kindertransport Day: the 75th anniversary of one of the great humanitarian missions of modern times.

Imagine a world where 10,000 children were rescued from the holocaust by the kindness of strangers.

In November 1938, just months before the start of World War II, Adolf Hitler unleashed the dogs of racial war in his own country.

In a series of pogroms forever known as Kristallnacht – the night of broken glass – Nazi storm troopers murdered and arrested Jewish citizens, burned hundreds of synagogues, and destroyed thousands of Jewish shops and homes, including a Jewish orphanage in Berlin.

Immediately a plan was launched to transport Jewish children, and other young people at risk, from the Nazi's grip in Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland.

Children bid a wrenching farewell to their families and eventually set sail for sanctuary in Britain – even though boatloads of adults and other refugees were turned away from ports in the U.S. and other nations and sent back to Germany.

The children of the Kindertransports, however, were greeted warmly and taken by double-decker buses to shelters and camps.

They found foster homes in Britain, and some of the older ones even became soldiers to join the Allied fight against the Nazis.

After the war, many settled in their adopted country for the rest of their lives.

One and a half million Jewish children died at the hands of the Nazis.

As we remember the 10,000 who were saved by the Kindertransports, we also remember the families they never saw again.