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Exhibition Talk: The Kitchener Camp Rescue

March 2, 2022 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Residents of the Kitchener Camp standing outside the first aid station, 1930

Residents of the Kitchener Camp standing outside the first aid station, 1930. Wiener Holocaust Library Collections.

Part of the Library’s Leave To Land: The Kitchener Camp Rescue 1939 exhibition event series. Leave to Land was authored by Clare Weissenberg and was based on materials collected through The Kitchener Camp Project, a unique online resource that brings together archival records and family treasures to build a moving and compelling picture of this unlikely sanctuary.

In this talk, Professor Clare Ungerson will discuss how it came about that 4,000 German Jewish refugee men moved from Greater Germany to live in an old army camp on the edge of the small town of Sandwich in East Kent in 1939. It is a remarkable story of speedy and highly effective action by Anglo Jewry who, in 1938/9, organised and funded two rescues – the much better known Kindertransports, and the movement of 4000 adult men, many from concentration camps, from Greater Germany to the English coast. She will also discuss how the people of Sandwich, a town the size of the camp, reacted to this presence of 4,000 Jewish refugees living on the edge of their town.

About the speaker:

Clare Ungerson is an Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at the University of Southampton. She retired in 2005 and moved to Sandwich in East Kent. She is the daughter and granddaughter of German Jewish refugees. On retirement, she decided to investigate the story of the Kitchener camp. The Wiener Holocaust Library archives were an invaluable source, as were the papers of Norman Bentwich, lodged in the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Her book, Four Thousand Lives: the rescue of German Jewish men to Britain, 1939 was published in hardback by the History Press in 2014 and reprinted in paperback in 2019. In December 2019 it was named by one of the contributors to The Times Literary Supplement as his ‘book of the year’.

We regret to inform visitors that our exterior lift is currently out of service. This is due to ongoing repair works and we apologise for the inconvenience. If you have any comments, questions, or concerns regarding accessibility at the Library, please email us at inf[email protected] or call us on +44 (0) 20 7636 7247.

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March 2, 2022
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Event Category:


The Wiener Holocaust Library
The Wiener Holocaust Library
London, WC1B 5DP United Kingdom
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