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Tells the true stories of children who escaped Nazi Germany on the Kindertransport, a rescue mission led by concerned British to save Jewish children from the Holocaust.
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Gr. 5^-8. The Kindertransport was a rescue operation that saved 10,000 Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Europe between December 1938 and September 1939 and found homes for them in England. Only 1,000 of them ever saw their families again. Olga Levy Drucker's Kindertransport (1992) is one survivor's detailed story. The authors of this book were also Kinder who got away to England, and they have written a profoundly moving, accessible account that combines the history of the time with the first-person testimonies of 21 survivors. Each chapter begins with the big picture--life under Hitler, Kristallnacht, preparing to leave, the journey, life in England through the war years and afterward--and then includes brief vignettes by Kinder who remember how it was for them; finally, a brief note summarizes what happened to each child afterward. The design is like an open scrapbook, with different size typefaces, snapshots, news photos, and marginal notes; and the combination of the general overview with personal memories will bring readers, from middle grades through adult, close to the experience. These people escaped; the brutality is offstage, but the anguish is in the childhood details. What was it like to say good-bye to your parents, knowing you might never see them again? To arrive in a new country, learn a new language, and live with strangers? To discover after the war that your family was gone? Or to find your parents, leave your foster home, and try to be a family again? The authors' quiet final note is rooted in the survivors' stories: the Kinder have learned, among other things, to appreciate people's differences and to remember the kindness of strangers. Hazel Rochman
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