Kindertransport-A mission of hope and glory.

Have you heard of Kindertransport?I never knew .Movies have opened my eyes to  many wonders  and yesterday a  documentary made me see the horrors of holocaust through the eyes of children.

 

Into the arms of strangers-stories of the Kindertransport is a an academy award winning  documentary .It is a heartwrenching account of  those dark days  and a  rescue mission  which saw thousands of jewish children  between the age of  5 and 17 from Germany,Austria,Hungary and Czechoslovakia leaving their parents  to go to foster homes Britain-the only country which agreed to  accept them.Between December 1938 and August 1939 more than 10,000 children were brought to Britain and  this is their story narrated by the survivors in their 60s and 70s.

They recall their idyllic carefree life with parents,the preparations for the trip,final goodbyes,the journey ,discovery of a new country and learning to live with foster parents.They speak from the heart and  tell you their struggles to adjust to the new family and surroundings and living with the hopes of reuniting with their families.They come to know of their parents and siblings perishing in the concentration camps and a few fortunate ones are reunited with their families.What I find most refreshing is that  they narrate their stories with candour .They also acknowledge the foster parents and their  limitations.They are all survivors and  show immense dignity and grace.Many have settled down in UK and USA and  are shown leading meaningful lives with children and grandchildren.

There are some movies  which has to be seen by all and this is one of them.Yes,there are many popular movies like Schindler’s List,The boy in the striped pyjamas,The pianist  etc.I find this  more intense and  moving.Even if you are not a fan of  cinema please find time to watch this.

Four statues were erected to commemorate  this epic rescue mission in UK,Poland,Germany and Holland.Frank Meisler ,the sculptor   had been on kindertransport.What an irony of fate.

Kindertransport Kindertransport_holand1

Kindertransport-Meisler

Courtsey google images

 

“I ceased to be a child when I boarded the train in Prague.It is strange that it’s only six years out of a long life and  those six years will affect the rest of your life” -this is how Eva Hayman  ,a survivor recalls .

I salute all those  kind souls who made the mission possible and those  foster parents who gave them a home and life.

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