I’ve been reading a book I picked up in a used book store about a month ago called The Children of Willesden Lane. It’s a novelized account of a fourteen-year-old Jew named Lisa Jura, who escapes Nazi-controlled territory through what was known as the Kindertransport.
In the years leading up to World War Two, citizens from the British Empire and other parts of the world took in Jewish children from Nazi occupied parts of Europe and paid for their passage. This route to freedom was named the Kindertransport (Kinder is German for children.) A total of fifteen thousand children were rescued. Although it’s only a drop in the bucket compared to the Jewry that was destroyed, just for interest I invite you to read the Wikipedia article on the Kindertransport. Near the end is a list of prominent people who were saved and their contributions to the world. It’s quite long and makes you wonder what was lost in all the humanity that was not saved.
The Children of Willesden Lane is not the best-written of books, but I love it for the story. It gives the reader a ground-level perspective of what it was like for these children to be separated from their families and sent to a foreign land. In many cases, the children on the Kindertransport were the only members of their family to survive the Holocaust. The story is also an account of the British resolve and resistance during the Battle of Britain. It’s uplifting to know that even in one of the darkest chapters in Human history, people found the civility to open their homes to these children, and contribute money to pay for their transportation. Even in the worst of times, there are still people who still manage to react with humanity.