The Holocaust and Kindertransport

 

Examine the resources here to help pupils reflect on the Holocaust and its impact on life today.

 

“I beg the next generation not to do what people have done for centuries- hate others because of their skin, shape of their eyes, or religious preference. I know what hatred does.” Robert Clary, Entertainer, Actor and Holocaust survivor

“The Holocaust happened and it can happen again, and every one of us, if only out of our own sense of self-preservation, has a solemn duty to ensure that nothing like it ever occurs again.” Paddy Fitzgibbon

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The Holocaust

The Holocaust is the term used to refer to the mass murder of Jews and other people that took place in Nazi occupied Europe from the 1930s to the end of World War II.

When the Nazis came to power in Germany in the mid 1930s they began to persecute Jews. Jewish businesses and schools were closed down. Jews weren’t allowed work in certain areas or marry non-Jews. They had to wear a yellow Star of David to identify themselves and they faced prejudice and violence every day. When Germany invaded Poland and other areas of Eastern Europe, Jewish populations were forced into separate, ‘ghetto’ areas of towns and cities. In 1942 the ‘final solution to the Jewish problem’ was put into operation. This was to be the systematic murder of the entire Jewish population of Europe. Concentration or ‘death’ camps, such as Auschwitz were built with gas chambers where thousands of people were killed.

As well as Jews, other groups of people were killed in Nazi Europe, either because they were seen as being racially inferior to ‘Aryans’, because they opposed the Nazi party or because they were regarded as being in other ways ‘unfit’. They included Gypsies and Roma people, disabled people, Slavs and Poles, trade unionists, communists, Jehovah Witnesses, homosexuals and clergy who spoke out against prejudice. However, it was the Jews who suffered the most at this time. By the end of the war, 6 million Jews, 7/10, of the European Jewish population, had been killed.

See Gallery for images.

Kindertransport

In 1938 as conditions for Jewish families in Germany worsened, the British government agreed to offer homes to 10,000 Jewish refugee children aged between 5 and 17.

The rescuing of these children became known as the Kindertransport. The children travelled from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland to Holland where they boarded boats sailing to England. Their parents were not allowed accompany them. Most of these Kindertransport children were never reunited with their families who lost their lives during the Holocaust.

Once in Britain, the children lived with foster families, or if they were older teenagers, in hostels.

Some of these Kindertransport children found refuge on a farm in Millisle, County Down.

 

  • Arriving in a station
  • Children from Kindertransport (M Taylor)
  • Farm workers
  • Image courtesy of M Taylor
  • Image courtesy of M Taylor
  • Image courtesy of M Taylor
  • Kindertransportees on a train
  • Luggage labels were used to identify children
  • Weiner Library image
  • Weiner Library image
  • Weiner Library image
  • Weiner Library image
  • Weiner Library image
  • Weiner Library image