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The story of the ‘Kindertransporte’ (Kindertransports)


   For decades, hardly anyone was interested in the story of the Kindertransports. The first publications were by authors who themselves had been saved by a Kindertransport. As early as 1966, Karen Gershon (Käthe Loewenthal, 1923-1993) wrote a book about the collective experience of those involved in the Kindertransports .* Since then, many memoirs but also fictional texts have been published for young people or adults.

   Charles Hannam
– formerly Karl Hirschland from Essen – has told his life-story in three exciting volumes of memoirs where he reflects upon his own identity: German, Jewish and British.

   Anne Ranasinghe (the Yavneh student Anneliese Katz) also came from Essen. She was rescued in 1939 as a 14-year-old girl and emigrated to England. In 1949 she married a doctor from Sri Lanka and went with him to Colombo. She began writing even before she escaped from Germany. Anne Ranasinghe, who passed away in 2016, is perceived as Sri Lanka's most famous English-speaking poet. Time and time again she has expressed her painful memories through her poetry.


*Karen Gershon, ‘We Came as Children: A Collective Autobiography’, London 1966

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Collage made by Lore Robinson, former pupil at the Yavneh, for the 55th class reunion, 1994

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The Kindertransport to Great Britain - Stories from North-Rhine-Westphalia