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Kindertransport

Between 1938 and 1939 some 10,000 children were sent without their parents from Nazi Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia to safety in Britain. This rescue movement became known as the Kindertransport.

Resources in The Wiener Holocaust Library’s Collection

The Wiener Holocaust Library does not hold a comprehensive list of Kindertransportees, yet many of our document collections refer to the Kindertransport. Highlights include:

  • Collection 1368 contains 166 Kinder memoirs organized alphabetically by the current name of the Kinder. Any previous names, place of birth, and/or place of departure are also noted for each entry. Note: most of the Kinder’s names changed to some degree, sometimes slightly, other times dramatically. Name change does not necessarily denote marriage and the circumstances of a name change is not always known.
  • Collection 1601 consists of correspondence from former German Jewish refugees, who came to Great Britain on the Kindertransport, and who attended the reunion of former Kindertransportees, organised by Bertha Leverton in 1989. The collection is arranged alphabetically by correspondent.
  • AJR Refugee Voices: many of the individuals filmed as part of this testimony project arrived in the UK on a Kindertransport.

Additionally, The Wiener Holocaust Library holds a large collection of books focused on the Kindertransport. Items with shelf mark S3b are related to Jewish Refugees in Britain. Some are these are available for browsing in our Reading Room while others can be located by searching for ‘children’, ‘refugees’ or ‘rescue’ in our online catalogue.

Most of our collection can only be accessed onsite in the Wolfson Reading Room so plan your visit today.

Popular Queries

We recommend these volumes, which are available in the Reading Room, if you are searching for answers to the following queries:

Never look back: the Jewish refugee children in Great Britain 1938-1945 by Judy T. Baumel-Schwartz

Children’s exodus: a history of the Kindertransport by Vera K. Fast

  • Who sponsored children travelling on the Kindertransport, and how did this process work?
  • How did German Jewish parents become aware there was such a scheme?
  • How did the parents apply to get their children included?
  • What were the costs per child?
  • Were they given a position in a queue – did they have to go for an interview with any British or Aid officials?
  • Info on arrivals of first Kindertransports
  • What was the most common route?
  • Was was in the suitcase the children brought?
  • In the UK, how decisions were made about where children should live / go to work / be trained? What rules and laws governed what they could and could not do?
  • What were the resettlement options (holiday summer camps, hostels, and foster homes)?
  • How did the children leave the camps?
  • Questions about specific training programmes and colleges in England for the children
Did you know?

Our travelling exhibition A Thousand Kisses: Stories of the Kindertransport is free to hire.

Find out more and book today

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Other archives and resources

In case no information on a person is found in our collections, we recommend checking the following websites:

  • Visit the Sir Nicholas Winton Memorial Trust for a list of Kindertransportees, mostly Jewish, transported from Czechoslovakia to Britain and other countries.
  • The well-known family history resource FindMyPast has digitised government documents relating to the Kindertransport operation, dating from 1939 to 1945 and held by The National Archives.
  • In 2007 the Association of Jewish Refugees conducted a unique survey entitled “Making New Lives in Britain” which recorded the Continental background, journey to Britain, reception and subsequent experiences and lives of a strongly representative sample of the almost 10,000, predominantly Jewish children of the Kindertransport. This is now published in the form of a statistical database.
  • Records for every child that arrived in the UK on a Kindertransport are still maintained by World Jewish Relief. Individuals and family members can request their records by filling out a form on their website.
  • Jewish Gen maintain a Kindertransport database using information extracted from International Tracing Service (ITS) files. It consists of a mixture of German departure and English arrival lists for German children and includes names, dates and places of birth and, in some cases, street addresses.
  • The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) has digitised its collection titled UK, Selected Records Relating to Kindertransport, 1938-1939 which is now available via Ancestry.com.
  •  We also suggest contacting The Kindertransport Association to see whether they hold any information on your family members.

Any further questions? Ask a Librarian

If you have further questions please do not hesitate to contact us in the Wolfson Reading Room, by calling 020 7636 7247, or emailing the Collections Team.

 
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