Photo: Getty Images
Kindertransport. 'My mother knew that she would never see me again'
Photo: Getty Images
Prince Charles. 'He was terrific. He really spent time with everyone'
Photo: AP

UK marks 75 years since Kindertransport

Prince Charles hosts reception to commemorate rescue mission which saved some 10,000 children, most of whom were Jewish, during nine months before outbreak of World War II

VIDEO – Britain's Prince Charles has hosted a reception to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Kindertransport at St. James' Palace. The rescue mission saved approximately 10,000 children, most of whom were Jewish, during the nine months before the outbreak of World War II.


Video courtesy of


As the pre-war persecution of Jewish people intensified a group of British Jewish leaders, including the British Jewish Refugee Committee, appealed to members of Parliament, and eventually it was agreed that children under the age of 17 should be permitted to enter the United Kingdom temporarily.


Youngsters from Austria, Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia boarded the Kindertransport in Berlin, Prague and Vienna. After crossing the Dutch and Belgian borders, they arrived in the UK by boat.


The minors were given temporary travel documents as it was thought they would be reunited with their parents at a later date, however most of them never saw their parents again. Renata Collins was five years old when she came to Wales.


"I was the last one on Sir Nicolas Winton's trains from Prague," she says. "I was literally the last one and the youngest one on it, and I came in the end of June 1939.


"I remember being on Prague station and thinking I was going on holiday, and of course my mother knew that she would never see me again, and she never did, and I lost 64 members of my family. So I had literally no one."

הילדים מגיעים לבריטניה (צילום: Getty Images)

Children arrive in United Kingdom (Photo: Getty Images)


Given the ages of those involved, this year's anniversary might be the last big reunion of its kind.


Kurt Stern travelled to England on the Kindertransport before moving to Israel to start a family of his own. He attended the reception and paid tribute to Prince Charles.


"He honors the children who came to England," he says. "Not all of us stayed in England. I myself didn't, but he's honoring the children who contributed to the different nations they made their home in. I think I am speaking for most of the children who arrived in Liverpool Street: Not in their wildest dreams they imagined that they would be invited to the palace."

הניצולים באירוע בארמון סנט ג'יימס, השבוע (צילום: AP)

St. James' Palace event. Last big reunion of its kind? (Photo: AP)


Daniel Rubin was eight years old when he arrived in the UK. He attended the reception with his son Isaac and presented Prince Charles with a book on behalf of his family.


"We are grateful to the people who took us in," Daniel Rubin says. "We learnt English in a few weeks because we couldn't speak to anyone else otherwise, and since then we're very grateful to the British government and for the families who took us in. They've been very good to us and we've got no complaints."


"The reception was terrific," says Isaac Rubin. "Prince Charles was terrific. He went round through three different rooms speaking to all the guests and he really spent time with everyone. I didn't feel it was rushed at all."



Melissa Hacker, president of the Kindertransport Association, was also in attendance. She believes that we can all learn from this the exceptional act of rescue.


"The Kindertransport is important to preserve as an aspect of Holocaust history because its one where people helped and made a difference, and it shows how in current events of genocide people can help," she says.


The kindness of those involved in arranging safe passage and providing homes for the children has not been forgotten, and their actions continue to be remembered by future generations.


And what's key is that all who have attended the event are grateful to the British government for their passport to freedom.



פרסום ראשון: 06.30.13, 07:29
 new comment
This will delete your current comment