When we think of the child rescue during the Holocaust, we think of the Kindertransports. These are the best known but, there are other efforts that should be recognized. Efforts from the Youth Aliya and German Children’s Jewish Aid are not as well known but, deserve recognition. At the time of the Holocaust, many world governments were hesitant to allow refugees into their countries. After Kristallnacht, this all changed. These efforts helped save the lives of many Jewish youth in Central and Eastern Europe. The Kindertransports efforts included people like Nicholas Winton who’s bravery saved people who he didn’t even know. Other efforts like the Youth Aliya and the German Children’s Jewish Aid also saved many youth and even started before the Kindertransports.The Youth Aliya not only helped in the Kindertransports but, also sent many children into Palestine. The GCJA helped to bring children to America despite the country’s immigration laws. This essay will look at these 4 efforts and describe why the efforts were equally important.
After Hitler rose to power in 1933, many Jewish refugees tried to travel to Great Britain. Unfortunately, many refugees were turned down entry into Britain
because of their immigration policies. After the “night, many members of the British Parliament pushed for the laws to be eased (“Great Britain”,). In mid November of 1938, British leaders requested that the British government allow a vague number of Jewish children into the country. This request was up for debate for leaders like Sir Samuel Hoare. Sir Samuel Hoare was the Home Secretary in Great Britain at the time. Eventually, the request was agreed upon by the British leaders. Sir Samuel Hoare announced the program to the British Parliament (“Britain ; the Holocaust,”).This program would be forever known as the Kindertransport. The government organized many preparations after the announcement. Some of these preparations included organization of the trains, finding foster homes, and getting guarantees for each child’s care. The British government looked for the help of everyday people in finding foster homes for the kids using radio broadcasts. (“The Kindertransport and Refugees”) It was very important to find loving homes for these children. Finally on December 1st, 1938, the first Kindertransport left Berlin carrying around 200 children (“First Kindertransport Arrives”). This first transport arrived in Britain on the very next day. These transports operated for about two years before the efforts finally came to an end. The importance of the British efforts in saving the children can’t be understated. All together the Kindertransports saved around 10,000 children. Without the help from the British, who knows how many more lives would’ve been taken?
The British weren’t the only ones who had their own Kindertransport efforts. The country known as Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic and Slovakia) had the own efforts to save Jewish children. One man is best known for his courageous efforts in saving the lives of children in Czechoslovakia. His name was Nicholas Winton. Nicholas didn’t work alone as he received help from Doreen Warriner and Martin Blake. He also received help from other organizations that were in Czechoslovakia as the Kindertransport efforts were already underway. This is important to acknowledge because a lot of the credit for these efforts went to Winton and not so much to Warriner and Blake. Right around the time the Kindertransport efforts were starting up, Nicholas Winton was planning to go on vacation when he received a message from Martin Blake (Brade and Holmes). Blake was a friend of Winton’s and asked him to come to Prague for help. Winton obliged and skipped his vacation plans to go help Blake. When he arrived there, he met Doreen Warriner and worked with the British Committee for Refugees from Czechoslovakia. They were here due to problems caused by the Munich Agreement. The agreement allowed the Germans to annex the land called the Sudetenland (“Nicholas Winton and Rescue”). Many Jewish children were in these camps. When Winton, Warriner, and Blake saw what was happening; they knew they had to do something. Winton decides that he is going to take charge for the safety of the children. He creates his own