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30 August 2009

Remember the Kindertransport

Never mind what the Daily Mail says, one of the good things about Great Britain is that we have a history of taking in refugees who are in danger in their own country.

One example of this is demonstrated outside Liverpool Street Station, sandwiched rather sadly between a McDonalds and a bus station, where there is a memorial to the 10,000 mostly Jewish children who arrived in Britain in the late 1930s in the Kindertransport.

Following the Kristallnacht anti-Jewish pogrom in late 1938, British Jewish leaders appealed to Neville Chamberlain on a range of issues, and these included a request that Jewish children and teenagers would be admitted temporarily, and later re-emigrate. The request was underwritten by a hefty £50 guarantee paid by the Jewish community for each refugee child.

Whilst, in Germany, Jews were banned from using trains, they were assisted by German Quakers who organised the transport and often rode with children to ensure they boarded the correct ferries. Many children arrived into Liverpool Street because it was the station that served the East Coast ports, and hence Flor Kent's Kindertransport Memorial was placed here in 2003.

For more on the Kindertransport, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kindertransport.

^Picture by <<graham>>

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