Holocaust survivors call for a new Kindertransport

15 November 2018

Liberal Judaism vice president Rabbi Harry Jacobi has joined others who fled the Nazis as children in urging the Government to provide more routes to sanctuary for today’s child refugees.

More than 1,000 people – including many members of Liberal Judaism – will gather in London today to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Kindertransport and highlight the need to do the same again.

Survivors of the Kindertransport, including Lord Alf Dubs, Sir Erich Reich and Dame Stephanie Shirley, have signed a letter calling on the Government to “match the efforts of the Kindertransport by committing to resettle 10,000 child refugees over the next 10 years from Europe and conflict regions”. Harry – who arrived in Britain as a child after twice feeling the Nazis, via Kindertransport – is also a key signatory.

The statement, released on the 80th anniversary of this heroic rescue of 10,000 mostly Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Europe, reads: “As former child refugees ourselves, we believe the UK government should give more children at risk the same life-saving opportunity that we had.

“Children seeking asylum have left their homes, their countries, their friends and families. They continue to live in unsanitary and unsafe camps or on the streets because the alternative is war, conflict and persecution. They have no other choice. But we do have a choice.

“We will be forever indebted to the families and communities who at an extraordinary time, did an extraordinary thing, and gave us a home. Now we have an opportunity to show that those values of humanitarian compassion reflect not only our country’s past but also our present and future.”

The survivors are also supporting the ‘Our Turn’ campaign, led by refugee charity Safe Passage and Lord Dubs, which aims to settle highly vulnerable child refugees.

Liberal communities have played a key role in this campaign winning commitments from local councils around the country. So far 700 places for child refugees have been pledged, if the government provides the necessary funding.
[Photo credit: Unicef]  

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