Published: July 19, 2012
Beginning in 1938 in the months before World War II, more than 10,000 Jewish children were separated from their parents and evacuated from Nazi Germany and other countries. Boasting that no one would want these “undesirable” children, Adolf Hitler was upstaged by the people of Great Britain, the only nation to take in the children.
The operation came to be known as the Kindertransport.
To commemorate the event, Queensborough’s Harriet and Kenneth Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center and Archives is hosting Kindertransport: a Unique Rescue Operation. It is an exhibit of photographs and first-hand accounts, vividly conveying the rescue mission.
Running July 12 – September 30, the exhibit opened with a ceremony to recognize the humanitarian role played by Great Britain in the Kindertransport. British Consul-General Danny Lopez accepted the Kupferberg Holocaust Center’s Freedom Award.
"The Holocaust was one of the bleakest episodes in human history, but via the Kindertransport, ordinary people across Britain rallied to the cause to support the 10,000 kinder that came to the UK,” said British Consul-General Lopez.
View and download photos from the ceremony here.
The Consul-General, who addressed a standing room only audience, was welcomed by Dr. Diane B. Call, Interim President of Queensborough Community College, and Dr. Arthur Flug, Executive Director of the Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center.
“When we teach of democracy in the Western world, most instructors begin with the Magna Carta. At the Kupferberg Center, we start with The Kindertransport and the unmatched dedication of the English people in rescuing 10,000 children from the Nazi terror,” said Dr. Flug.
Kurt Goldberg, President of the Kindertransport Association, attended the event with his wife, Margaret, who was on the Kindertransport. She spoke of discovering—amongst her mother’s documents—an envelope dated 1939 that contained a lock of young Margaret’s long, dark hair.
Another survivor, Anita Weisbord, said, “My mother had the strength and foresight to put me on the Kindertransport. I am very lucky to be standing here to tell you I’m alive.”
British Consul-General Lopez added, "The Kindertransport story reminds us that action, compassion and charity can make a difference, and the British Government is committed to the preservation of Holocaust education for the next generation. I am moved by the efforts of the Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center and the Kindertransport Association, and through your good work, the crucial lessons of the Holocaust will not fade."
For more information contact:
The Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center