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Hundreds gather for Kindertransport reunion the Jewish Free School in Kenton
A generation of young Jewish refugees who escaped Nazi occupied Europe as children met again for the 75th reunion of the movement that helped them escape.
More than 400 who took part in the Kindertransport met at the Jewish Free School, in The Mall, Kenton, on Sunday June 23 for the reunion.
The Kindertransport was the result of a decision by politicians in 1938 to save Jewish children from Hitler's regime.
Thousands were evacuated to Britain from Nazi-occupied parts of Europe, including Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia, before the outbreak of war in 1939.
Yesterday survivors and their families attended a lunchtime reception hosted by HRH The Prince of Wales at St James’s Palace.
Dr Eve Willman, 80, who came to Britain in April 1939, said: “It is an honour to a lot of people that Prince Charles has such an interest in the Kindertransport and gave us so much of his time.
“I was five and a half when I came to the UK and I can’t remember anything. I don’t remember saying goodbye to my parents, I don’t remember getting on the train.
“I have a family member who is the same age as I was when I came here and it just turns my blood cold to imagine her going through the same thing.
“It was an astonishing to think what our parents went through to send us away.”
During the war Dr Willman’s mother was killed in an air raid but her father survived and the pair were able to meet after the war.
Sadly, he died shortly after the war at the age of 50, before they had the chance to get to know each other.
During Sunday’s event children from the school re-enacted the House of Commons debate which preceded the creation of the Kindertransport.
There were also speeches from former Foreign Secretary David Miliband and actress Maureen Lipman.
Eva Williams was 15 when she left her home and parents in Vienna for the UK in 1939.
Like many others on the Kindertransport, she arrived at Liverpool Street station, where she was told where she would be staying.
She said: “I was with two friends and we travelled on the train up to York together which was nice. At the time I didn’t really know what was going on and to me it was a bit of an adventure.”
Talking about the reunion event, the 89-year-old said: “The whole event is quite a landmark. It is important for people to know what happened.
Michael Newman from the Association of Jewish Refugees, said: “This is a really important event to remember what happened and to give thanks to Britain for the part it played.
“It is also important for creating a legacy of the Kindertransport and was a chance for family members to meet one another and to share stories.”
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