Between December 1938 and May 1940, almost 10,000 unaccompanied mostly Jewish children were brought to Britain from Nazi Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland in what became known as the Kindertransports.

Using the archives of The Wiener Library, the world’s oldest collection of material on the Nazi era and the Holocaust, this exhibition tells the story of the Kindertransport through the experiences of a some of the children and the loved ones they left behind.


Entry card for Gisela Spanglet, 1938. Courtesy, Harriet Eisner.


Gisela Spanglet, now Gisela Eisner, was born in Berlin in 1925. At thirteen years old she was given a place on the very first Kindertransport, arriving in Britain on 2 December 1938.


Entry card for Otto Lichtenstein, 1938, Wiener Library Collections


Otto Lichtenstein, now called Frank Henley, was born in Mayen, Germany in 1923. He arrived in Britain on 15 December 1938, aged 15. The following pages contain audio clips from an interview Frank gave to Alan Dein for the Central British Fund (now World Jewish Relief).


Photograph of Evi Finkler pre-1938. Wiener Library Collections


Evelyn (Evi) Finkler, now Evelyn Dale, was born in 1930. She came to England in 1938 on one of the first transports from Vienna, when she was just 8 years old.


Entry card for Ruth Peschel, 1939, Wiener Library Collections


Ruth Peschel was born in Jauer, Silesia in 1923. She came to England from Breslau, where her family had fled, arriving in Harwich on 21 June 1939 aged 15.



Passport of Ilse Majer, born in Vienna in 1928, Wiener Library Collections


Ilse Majer Williams was born Ilse Majer in Vienna in 1928. She arrvied in Britain on 13 July 1939, two weeks before her eleventh birthday.


Passport of Kurt Katzenstein. Courtsey, Catherine Gardner.


Kurt Katzenstein was born in Duisburg, Germany, in 1924. He arrived in Britain on 22 April 1939, aged 14, and later changed his name to Ken Gardner.


Passport of Lilli Jacobsohn. Wiener Library Collections.

Lilli Jacobsohn, later called Lilli Krieger, was born in Berlin in 1922. She arrived in Britain on 4 May 1939, aged 16.



Gerda Mayer was born Gerda Stein in Karlsbad, Sudentenland, in 1927. She came to England on 14th March 1939 aged 12, on the last plane to leave Czechoslovakia organised by Trevor Chadwick and Nicholas Winton.


Ann Kirk (Hannah Kuhn). Wiener Library Collections.

Ann Kirk was born Hannah Kuhn in Berlin in 1928. She left for Britain on the Kindertransport on 17 March 1939, aged eleven. You can read more about her story on the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust website

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