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Royal visit to Kenton to mark anniversary of war evacuation
THE Prince of Wales joined a generation of Jewish people as they remembered the journey they made to Britain before the start of World War Two.
Hundreds packed into the Jewish Free School, in The Mall, Kenton, to mark the 70th anniversary of the Kindertransport, where Jewish children were evacuated to Britain from Nazi-occupied parts of Europe.
His Royal Highness Prince Charles made a special visit to today's events and spent more than an hour talking to people who made the journey back in 1938.
He said: “The people who came to this gathering made me feel so incredibly proud to be British.
“What many of you said to me today is you owe so much to this country and the extraordinary generosity shown at that appalling time when you had to endure such unspeakable horrors.
“For those of us who have not had to endure that kind of horror, in many ways it is unimaginable.
“We shall never forget you and what you have contributed to this country.
“I offer heartfelt good wishes and appreciate of all you stand for and represent, all that's best in this country.”
The hall at the school, in The Mall, was packed with Jewish people who were saved from the Nazi gas chambers, and were taken in by British families.
The decision was taken by politicians in 1938 to take in thousands of German children before the onset of war to save them from Hitler's regime.
Bernd Koschland, 77, who helped organise today's event, was evacuated from Southern Germany in 1939.
He said: “It was rather traumatic coming to a new country, not knowing English, not knowing anyone.
“It is very important for us to get together because we are lucky to be here and you never know what the future is.”
Manfred Lindenbaum had to leave his sister Ruth behind when he and his brother were evacuated from Poland in 1939 the day before war broke out.
He was a pupil at the Jewish school during his first six years in England, and has devoted much of his life to helping others since he made the journey on the Kindertransport.
He said: “I have to justify why they killed my sister but I was taken. I have an obligation to make a difference.
“I came here today for the opportunity to meet people I knew from before and to recognise what the British people did.”
Alice Rubinstein, 83, was one of the people who met the Prince as he chatted to the now elderly refugees about their experiences.
She said: “It is the first time I have seen Prince Charles, I never expected to shake hands with him.”