Kindertransport memorial will honour parents


It is a long-celebrated story of survival: nearly 10,000 European children saved from almost certain death via the Kindertransport.

But often little is known about the parents who were forced to wave goodbye to their children, unsure if or when they would ever see them again.

It is thought that most of those who parted from their offspring were sent to concentration camps.

Now a group of Kinder, together with the Federation of Jewish Communities (FJC), has come together to pay tribute to their parents with a specially built memorial. It will be placed inside Hlavni Nadrazi, the main railway station in Prague, from which most of the trains departed in 1938 and 1939.

Lady Milena Grenfell-Baines, herself a Kinder, said: “We have wasted too much time, waited too long to honour the memory, the selfless love and sacrifice of all who sent their children to a foreign land into the arms of strangers.”

Lady Grenfell-Baines, who came to Britain in August 1939, is working with fellow Kinder Zuzana Maresova and Tomas Kraus, FJC chairman, to raise the £100,000 needed to build and maintain the bronze and glass memorial.

It will feature a replica of a Kindertransport train door, and will show casts of hands of children descended from survivors, reaching out to “touch” the hands of their ancestors.

Among those who have had casts made already were Lady Grenfell-Baines’s own great-niece and great-great-niece.

Lady Grenfell-Baines, 87, from Preston, Lancashire, said: “This means so much for our children and grandchildren. By involving the younger generations, we want to show the sacrifice that our parents made so that their families would live.”

So far, organisers have raised £7,000. They are hoping to erect the memorial by next March to mark the day that the first train left Prague.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive