Friday, May 10, 2013


I recently watched this 2000 Oscar-winning documentary, narrated by Judi Dench. It tells the story of the Kindertransport that saved the lives of more than 10,000 Jewish children at the dawn of World War II.

In November of 1938, 5 days after Kristallnacht (the horrendous “Night of Broken Glass” when the Nazi’s in Germany and Austria smashed most everything that was Jewish) a delegation of British Jewish leaders appealed to the Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, to permit the entry of unaccompanied Jewish children to their country.

The House of Commons agreed to help and the call went out to the public for housing. It is to the credit of the British people that they (Jews and non-Jews alike) stepped forth and the RCM (Refugee Children’s Movement) began.

The documentary is made up of moving recollections from some of the survivors. As you can imagine it was not easy and there were back-lashes and very few of the children were ever reunited with their parents; but, overall it was an amazing accomplishment.

I couldn’t help but compare what they were going through in 1938 to what was happening to me at the same time. I would have been 5 at the time and living peacefully in Plainfield, New Jersey. It would have been (and still is) inconceivable to imagine a time when being wrenched from the safety of my loving family would be the only alternative to survival.

I pray that we never forget those days … lest they return.


Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

I have that on my Netflix queue. Thanks to your touching review, I think I will move it up to the top. We should never forget.

5:14 PM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Checked Netflix and this documentary was not available with my current online viewing plan, but perhaps in the future it will be. True stories often are the hardest to view but this one is worthwhile. And of course, you may already know that I also grew up in Plainfield, NJ, and will be there this weekend to visit my mother. Happy Mother's Day to you as well, Ginnie.

7:14 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I hope such events are never to be repeated.

6:12 AM  
Blogger possum said...

I do not think I could handle watching this... I have a real hard time with any war-time stuff, but WWII is the hardest.

Hope you have a good week-end.

2:10 PM  
Blogger NCmountainwoman said...

I was also very moved watching this.

5:17 PM  
Blogger ellen said...

Heart wrenching...and, yes, may it never be repeated.

11:59 AM  
Blogger KGMom said...

It is impossible to imagine the parents' pain--what a choice. TO have to choose between parting with your child, possibly forever, or risk your child's life.
I agree--I hope we never forget.

12:46 PM  
Blogger Syd said...

So terrible and yet those horrific events continue in Sudan, Syria, and Rawanda.

5:38 PM  

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