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Kindertransport: Terror, Trauma and Triumph

Caroline Sharples discusses the bitter-sweet experiences of the Jewish children permitted to travel to England to escape the Nazi regime, leaving their families behind them.

Nineteen-thirty-eight marked a turning point for both British immigration policy and the fate of the European Jews. Austria, and parts of Czechoslovakia had fallen under the shadow of the swastika, bringing more and more Jews under Nazi control, while increasing acts of violence culminated in the Kristallnacht pogrom of November 9th. Herschel Grünspan, a young Jew, had shot dead a German diplomat, Ernst vom Rath. In revenge, throughout that night, Jewish families were terrorised, businesses ransacked and men publicly beaten as synagogues across the Reich went up in flames. The level of violence outraged the world.

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