Podcasts

Podcasts

This podcast from the Association of Jewish Refugees, using material from the AJR Refugee Voices archive, explores one specific strand of the Jewish refugee experience — the Kindertransport. This rescue effort began on the 1st December 1938 and lasted until the outbreak of war in September 1939. Nearly 10,000 children, mostly from Germany and Austria, were sent by their parents to safety in England. The podcast uses testimony extracts from the archive to examine the Kindertransport from first-hand sources, to try to better understand this historical event in its depth and complexity – both for its own sake and also in the hopes of informing our understanding of refugee policies today. 

 

Please subscribe on the platforms listed below, or listen on the player. You can find more information about each interviewee featured in the podcast after the player.

 

The Kindertransport podcast is produced by Alex Maws for the AJR.

Available Episodes

More Information & Featured Interviewees

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Click on each image to read interview summaries and see photos from interviewees mentioned in the episode.

In the coldest winter Britain had experienced in more than a century, refugees were housed in unheated huts, while they tried to make the best of their situation by learning English and going on cultural outings. Meanwhile a radio appeal for prospective foster parents created a weekly experience that the children referred to as the 'cattle market' in which visiting couples would walk through the dining hall looking for their ideal foster child.

Episode Five

Dovercourt

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Click on each image to read interview summaries and see photos from interviewees mentioned in the episode.

Thousands of British families respond to the call to help unaccompanied Jewish child refugees, and at long last Kindertransports start arriving. What were the reactions to the children upon arriving in a strange new country? Years later, what were the memories – positive and negative – that stuck with them about those first impressions?

Episode Four

First Impressions

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Click on each image to read interview summaries and see photos from interviewees mentioned in the episode.

The events of the November Pogrom prompt Westminster to loosen immigration restrictions, allowing unaccompanied child refugees to come to Britain. What did these children understand at the time about how they ended up on a Kindertransport? Eight refugees recall their experiences and historian Louise London explains the shift in British policy.

Episode Three

The Decision Makers

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Click on each image to read interview summaries and see photos from interviewees mentioned in the episode.

Fred Barschak can vividly remember the menu at his father's kosher restaurant. Otto Deutsch recalls his family's humble living conditions. And Ursula Gilbert remembers attending Berlin's grandest synagogue. These are some of the happy childhood memories that stand in stark contrast to subsequent tales of antisemitic taunts and a night of unprecedented violence.

Episode Two

What Was Left Behind

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Click on each image to read interview summaries and see photos from interviewees mentioned in the episode.

The Kindertransport was a loosely coordinated rescue effort in 1938-39 through which nearly 10,000 children under the age of 16 were sent by their parents to safety in England. What was that journey like? What memories did those refugees carry with them throughout their lives, of the day that they left their parents behind?

In 2003, the AJR began the process of recording the testimonies of some 250 Jewish refugees from Nazism living in Britain – a project we call Refugee Voices . In this podcast series, we have delved into that archive focusing on one specific strand of the refugee experience, the Kindertransport. We use testimony extracts to examine the Kindertransport from first-hand sources, to try to better understand this historical event in its depth and complexity – both for its own sake and also in the hopes of informing our understanding of refugee policies today. 

Episode One

The Journey

Extras

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@ Refugee Voices 2020