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First Kindertransport Arrives in Great Britain

Refugee girl, part of a Children’s Transport (<i>Kindertransport</i>), shortly after arrival in Harwich. Great Britain, December 2, 1938.

Refugee girl, part of a Children's Transport (Kindertransport), shortly after arrival in Harwich. Great Britain, December 2, 1938. —Bibliotheque Historique de la Ville de Paris

December 2, 1938

In desperation, thousands of Jewish parents send their unaccompanied children abroad, hoping they would find refuge from Nazi persecution.

Kindertransport (Children's Transport) was the informal name of a series of rescue efforts (organized by Jewish communal groups in Germany and Austria) which brought thousands of refugee Jewish children to Great Britain between 1938 and 1940.  Parents or guardians could not accompany the children. The first Kindertransport arrived in Harwich, Great Britain, on December 2, 1938, bringing some 200 children from a Jewish orphanage in Berlin which had been destroyed in the Kristallnacht pogrom. Eventually between 9,000 and 10,000 children were rescued via Kindertransport.  Most of these girls and boys would never again see their parents, who were murdered during the Holocaust.

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