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From kindergarten to Kindertransport

December 2nd, 2013
03:58 PM ET

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.

soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Marcelo

    It would have been a great humanitarian effort of rescue, if back in the British Mandate, the very same Britain was not against receiving Jewish immigrants in the so called British Mandate for Palestine, and if Britain did not inforce the White Paper Policy on jews looking for a safe place to scape the murder in Europe!Britain has played a major role on Israeli-Palestinian conflict, ever since!So I believe we don't even should thank Britain for receiving ONLY 10.000 children! Lets not forget other 6 million people died in great part due to White Paper policy in the British Mandate of Palestine!

    December 2, 2013 at 6:11 pm | Reply
    • Asadullah khan

      it is not good to mix up issues it was indeed a great humantarian deed--kindertransport

      December 3, 2013 at 7:44 am | Reply
  2. Marcelo

    December 2, 2013 at 6:11 pm | Reply
  3. Marcelo

    "If I knew that it would be possible to save all the children in Germany by bringing them over to England, and only half of them by transporting them to Eretz Yisrael, then I would opt for the second alternative. For we must weigh not only the life of these children, but also the history of the People of Israel." (Yoar-Gelber, Zionist Policy and the Fate of European Jewry (1939-42), Yad Vashem Studies, vol. XII,p.199.)

    December 2, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Reply
  4. Udi

    The same people in Isreal are the one paying the African imigrants in Isreal $3500, to go back to africa przez @NewsRescue

    December 3, 2013 at 1:47 am | Reply
  5. Çağatay Konuk

    Tehere it is, you just need wealth and political influence to get through the heart of Amanpour.

    I expect the same sort of compassion for all the lives the western world has taken to gain control of earth's natural reaources.

    War on terror my *ss.

    December 3, 2013 at 2:15 am | Reply
  6. Lukasz Miazgowski

    Writing "...from the Nazi's grip in Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland." is misunderstanding, as if Poland would be in Nazi grip in November 1938. Lucky Gold have to read more and anyone who reads this article in case of having no idea on history. I would expect more from CNN...

    December 4, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Reply
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