Forward from the Past: The Kindertransport from a Contemporary Perspective

25 June 2013, German Historical Institute London

This conference examines the Kindertransport to Britain 1938/1939. The four panels will focus on newly developed research, including the Kindertransport in British historiography, the Kindertransport experience after 1945; the issueof contemporary memorialization of the Kindertransport, and the Second-generation perspective of the Kindertransport. The conference will shed new insights into the 20th century Kindertransport phenomenon.

Conference organisers: The Leo Baeck Institute London in cooperation with the German Historical Institute, Aberystwyth University and the Research Centre for German and Austrian Exile Studies, University of London.


Conference Programme


 9.00-9.30 Welcome


9.30-11.00 The Kindertransport in British Historiography (chair: Raphael Gross, LBI)

Tony Kushner (University of Southampton): The Battle of Britishness: The Kinder’s Perfect Journeys

Rose Holmes (University of Sussex): Quakers and the Kindertransport: The Neglect of the Voluntary Tradition

Jennifer Craig-Norton (University of Southampton): The Historiography’s Missing Pieces: What the Letters of Carers reveal


11.00-11.30 Coffee


11.30-13.00 New Research on the Kindertransport Experience after 1945 (chair: Andreas Gestrich, GHI)

Elizabeth Heineman (University of Iowa): Kindertransport: Family Aftermaths

Bea Lewkowicz (IGRS, University of London): The Refugee Voices Archive and the Kindertransport

Andrea Hammel (Aberystwyth University): Kindertransportees: Writing their own History


13.00-14.30 Lunch (own arrangement)


 14.30-16.00 The Second Generation Experience (chair: Bea Lewkowicz, IGRS, University of London)

Film Screening and Panel Discussion with Melissa Hacker, Karen Goodman, and Melissa Rosenbaum


16.00-16.30 Tea


16.30-18.00 Memorialization of the Kindertransport (chair: Daniel Wildmann LBI/Queen Mary, University of London)

Nathan Abrams (Bangor University): The Kindertransport in Film

Suzanne Bardgett (Imperial War Museum, London): The Kindertransport Story at the Imperial War Museum

Judith Vandervelde (Jewish Museum, London): The Stories we tell… and the Stories we don’t: Multiple Interpretations at the Jewish Museum


 18.00-18.45 Wine reception & opening of exhibition


’Double Exposure:  Jewish Refugees from Austria in Britain’  


18.45-19.30 Concert:  

What a Life! – Singing a Song in a Foreign Land

Norbert Meyn, Tenor; Malcolm Miller, Piano

German tenor and RCM Professor Norbert Meyn together with pianist and musicologist Dr Malcolm Miller will perform a short recital of songs from the revue What a Life! by Hans Gál, written and performed in 1940 in the internment camp near Douglas, Isle of Man, interspersed with readings from the composer’s diary Music behind Barbed Wire


Admission is free. Places are strictly limited and must be reserved in advance by contacting the Leo Baeck Institute London, e-mail:; t: +44 (0) 2078825690


For further information, please contact the Leo Baeck Institute: