A synagogue will host a memorial evening to commemorate an act that saved the lives of thousands of Jewish children from one of the worst atrocities in modern history. 

Pinner Synagogue in Harrow will hold the Yom HaShoah event to honour the 80th anniversary of those who came to Britain on the Kindertransports in 1938-39, at 8pm on April 11.

The humanitarian programme saw approximately 10,000 predominantly Jewish, unaccompanied children under 17 removed to Britain from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia, nine months prior to the outbreak of the Second World War. 

At a time when no other country was willing to alter immigration quotas, Britain alone agreed to provide sanctuary for children escaping the Nazis.

Stephen Collins: "Kindertransport showed the British people at their best.”

Harrow Times:

To mark the occasion, Pinner Synagogue will hold a candle lighting ceremony and hear speeches from Ann and Bob Kirk who were child refugees fleeing Hitler.

They came to the UK individually from Germany when Ann was 11 and Bob was 13, after being separated from their families. 

Ann and Bob met in London and married in later life. They never saw their parents again.  

Persecution of the Jews reached a pre-war peak on November 9, 1938 with Kristallnacht (the Night of Broken Glass) in which Nazis in Germany torched synagogues, vandalised Jewish homes, schools and businesses, killing close to 100 Jews. 

The Home Secretary at the time, Sir Samuel Hoare, announced the Kindertransport initiative to MP’s and travel visas were quickly issued. 

About half of the children were placed with foster families, others in hostels, boarding schools or farms. 

Pinner Synagogue committee member, Stephen Collins, said: “In these particular times when even now we hear comments about Holocaust denial, it is even more important to commemorate the events of the Holocaust.

“Pinner Synagogue has been pre-eminent in this annual commemoration over many years and we are incentivised to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Kindertransport which showed the British people at their best.”

Doors open at 7.15pm.