Tragic event in the history of mankind.
On the night of November 10, 1938, thousands of synagogues and Jewish businesses throughout Nazi Germany and parts of Austria were burned or destroyed. This tragic event is known in history under the name Kristallnacht, or Night of broken glass. At least 91 Jews were killed and tens of thousands were taken prisoner, to later be sent to concentration camps. This event was the beginning of one of the worst genocides in world history — the Holocaust.
In response to the actions of the Nazis, the British, the Jews and Quakers have filed an emergency appeal to Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain asking for permission of temporary import into the country of the Jewish children without parents and other carers.
The bill was passed urgently. Within a few days in Germany and Austria were sent to representatives of the British community to organize a safe passage for children of the Jews, subjected to the risk of prosecution. In the media the rescue operation dubbed “Kindertransport”.
November 25, British citizens heard on BBC radio a call from Herbert Samuel to temporarily take on the care of Jewish children. Soon there were 500 offers, and RCM volunteers started visiting possible foster homes and reporting on conditions.
Three weeks after Kristallnacht, the first group of 196 Jewish children, mostly from burned shelters of Berlin, arrived in the UK. In the next 9 months until the start of world war II in September 1939, in the United Kingdom was ferried nearly 10,000 children from 3 to 17 years, left without parents or guardians, from Germany, Austria, Poland and Czechoslovakia.
The children were placed in foster families that they had to leave after the war to return home. Many of them never saw their relatives.
Among the children rescued during the operation “Kindertransport,” was future Nobel laureates: astrophysicist Arno Penzias, physicist Walter Kohn and many others who, despite the fact that he had lost home and family, was an outstanding politician, scientist or artist.
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