The story of the Kitchener camp is not as well known as that of the Kindertransport, but it is in many ways equally remarkable. In 1939 nearly four thousand men were given visas to travel to the camp at Richborough near Sandwich, Kent, many of them following imprisonment in Nazi concentration camps. Cultural life at the camp flourished, and fears about the influx of refugees inflaming local tensions and giving momentum to the British fascists did not materialise. The Kitchener camp had a positive impact on Sandwich and the region, and has left an important legacy in local memory.
Through the display of the Wiener Library’s exceptionally rich collection of photographs and original documents as well as specially loaned original artworks, this exhibition gives a vivid impression of the history and life of the camp. A deeper understanding of the camp’s history can also be explored in Clare Ungerson’s new book, Four Thousand Lives: The Rescue of German Jewish Men to Britain, 1939, published in March this year by the History Press, on which this exhibition is based.
The exhibition has been co-curated by Clare Ungerson, Professor Emerita of the University of Southampton and Dr Toby Simpson of The Wiener Library.
‘Four Thousand Lives: The Kitchener Camp Rescue’ runs at The Wiener Library, 29 Russell Square from Thursday 19 March 2014 to Wednesday 20 June 2014. Admission is free.
Please note: The run of this exhibition has been extended in order to be on display throughout UK Refugee Week.