Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport

Film

Documentaries

 

Time Out says

During 1938/9, the kindertransport initiative placed more than 10,000 Jewish children in British foster homes, rescuing them from the Nazis, but separating them from parents in Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia. Twelve former Kinder tell their stories, intercut with rare archive footage. The impact lies in the details (clothes carefully embroidered and packed; a preserved identity tag; spelling mistakes in letters home; kippers for breakfast; news of parents 'deported to Auschwitz'; preparations for rare, uneasy reunions) and the straightforward chronological presentation, unhampered by intrusive stylistic devices or the minimal narration spoken by Judi Dench. These are not random testimonies from randomly selected subjects - they shed particular light on different perspectives of the evacuation. As the emotional confusion that is the lifelong legacy of these exceptional childhoods is gradually revealed their stories converge, around loss, thankfulness, resentment towards parents for sending (or not sending) them away, guilt, limbo - and later, subtle shifts in understanding, the pleasure of grandchildren, and the profound realisation of what it means to have survived.

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