The Kindertransport: Life in Britain

Figure 1.--Renate Lewy was an 11-year old German Jew, one of the fortunate children who found refuge in Britain through the Kindertransport. We have not been able to find much about Renate and her family. We believe that she was from Hamburg and after the War emigrated to Israel. Source: Imperial War Museum. D8193.

Most were aided by Jewish charitable organizations, but Quakers and other groups also helped. The older children were put up on hostels, many of the younger children were adopted. The youths over 16 were interned as Enemy Aliens. This totaled about 1,000 youths. Around 400 were transported overseas to Canada and Australia, a somewhat perilous trip through U-boat infested waters. When this was publicized in the press, the internees were finally released and some of the deportees returned. Employment opportunities were very limited, mostly agriculture and domestic service. Youth-Aliyah and Hechalutz opened several training farms. Some of the children placed with Christian families converted. Some of the older boys joined the military. Some of the children adusted easily and were happy in their new envirinment. Others had a difficult time adjusting and required considerable assistance. Our general assessment is that like the subsequent evacuation from the cities when the War began, that most of the evacuees did well, but missed their parents terribly. Being from a different country of course magnified the problems. But the older children had undoubtedly had unpleasant experiences, especially at school and were thus relieved to be out of Germany. The younger children did not really understand what was happening to them. While most of the children got on as well as could be expected. Some children had difficulties. A reader writes, "I met someone who had been part of the Kindertransport to Great Britain when I was visiting my mother in Florida. Apparently some of the children were treated badly. Some were treated as maids and servants. I suspect the numbers were small because not much was written about it, but this was was surprising to hear. This person said many were taken in by Jewish families. And some families treated the children poorly." There were few family reunions after the War. Most of the children were never reunited with their families who were murdered in the NAZI death camps. [Goepfert]


Goepfert, Rebekka. Der Juedische Kindertransport von Deutschland nach England 1938/39: Geschichte & Erinnerung. (The Jewish Children Transport from Germany to England 1938/39) History and Memory)


Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Return to Main Kindertransport page]
[Return to German holocaust page]
[Return to Main Holocaust page]
[Return to Main World War II page]
[Introduction] [Activities] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Clothing styles] [Countries]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Glossaries] [Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Boys' Clothing Home]

Created: 11:56 PM 12/3/2011
Last updated: 11:56 PM 12/3/2011