Saturday, May 31, 2008

Coverage in "Queens Courier"

New York's Queens Courier cited the Kindertransport numerous times in its recent set of Holocaust-related articles. Mentioned are at least three Kinder: Ellen Alexander nee Gladke, her sister Ursula, and Hannah Deutch.

In the article "The Will to Survive" (May 19, 2008), Jessica Lyons writes
About 10,000 children were able to find refuge in Great Britain through the Kindertransport, which is a German word meaning “transportation of children.” During the transports, which were held from December of 1938 to September of 1939, children left their parents to eventually live in foster homes.

Fresh Meadows resident Ellen Alexander, who was born in Berlin in 1929, went on the Kindertransport with her older sister Ursula. As a 10-year-old, she considered it a big adventure. She and her sister stayed with a couple previously unknown to the family throughout the duration of the war.
Lyons profiles Ellen Alexander here. From the profile:
"In 1945, right after the war ended, we got a telegram from my mother saying that she was alive and wondering if we had heard from my father, which of course we hadn’t because he had died by then," Alexander said. "He was sent on a death march to Auschwitz."

Alexander’s mother came to England to live with the girls and their foster parents in 1946. There were disagreements as to who should be in charge of the girls, and eventually Alexander, her mother and sister left for America, making it to the United States in 1947 after a 10-day sea voyage. Even after leaving England, Alexander said she kept in touch with her foster parents.
In "60 years later: Never ending anguish for survivors" (May 28, 2008), Noah Rosenberg mentions another Kind, Hannah Deutch. From her profile:
A great aunt, who had a cousin in charge of the child transport, or Kindertransport, in London, added Deutch, who was 18 at the time, to a list of around 150 children who were being sent to the U.K. Deutch’s mother and stepfather, unable to get visas to come to England, managed to get on the last ship leaving from Holland to Chile before war was declared.

Realizing she owed a debt of gratitude to England, Deutch became a registered nurse and joined the British Army. Based in London, Deutch came face to face with war casualties and collected "the arms, legs and heads" of a troop transport that had been bombed. Deutch heard the first "buzz bomb" floating above London and at one point she, herself, was bombed out.

"I can still feel the ceiling on my back pushing all the people down the stairs," she said....

She eventually learned that her aunt, uncle and grandmother, who had raised her for a time while her mother was ill, along with her two-year-old cousin, had died at the Riga concentration camp....

Deutch still reels from the fact that Nazi Germany destroyed her family, stole her German identity and forever altered the landscape of world Jewry.

"It’s something that doesn’t leave you. You put it away in your brain so it doesn’t hurt you from day to day," Deutch explained.

"But it’s there."

Thanks to Joseph Haberer for the lead.

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