Organised rescue of Jewish children during the Holocaust / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Kindertransport (German for "children's transport") was an organised rescue effort of children (but not their parents) from Nazi-controlled territory that took place during the nine months prior to the outbreak of the Second World War. The United Kingdom took in nearly 10,000 predominantly Jewish children from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and the Free City of Danzig. The children were placed in British foster homes, hostels, schools, and farms. Often they were the only members of their families who survived the Holocaust. The programme was supported, publicised, and encouraged by the British government. Importantly the British government waived the visa immigration requirements that were not within the ability of the British Jewish community to fulfil.[1][2] The British government put no number limit on the programme – it was the start of the Second World War that brought it to an end, at which time about 10,000 kindertransport children had been brought to the United Kingdom.

Young refugees of the first Kindertransport after their arrival at Harwich, Essex, in the early morning of 2 December 1938
Jewish refugee children on their arrival in London on the Warszawa
1939 issued Identity Document for travelling to the UK, used by a child on the Kindertransport
Hope Square plaque

Smaller numbers of children were taken in via the programme by the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Sweden, and Switzerland.[3][4][5] The term "kindertransport" is sometimes used for the rescue of mainly Jewish children, without their parents, from Nazi Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia to the Netherlands, Belgium, and France. An example is the 1,000 Chateau de La Hille children who went to Belgium.[2][6] However, often the "kindertransport" is used to refer to the organised programme to the United Kingdom.

The Central British Fund for German Jewry (now World Jewish Relief) was established in 1933 to support in whatever way possible the needs of Jews in Germany and Austria.

In the United States, the Wagner–Rogers Bill was introduced in Congress, which would have increased the quota of immigrants by bringing a total of 20,000 Jewish children, but due to opposition from Senator Robert Rice Reynolds, it never left committee.