In a courtyard in central London this Thursday, a class of excited schoolchildren were playing. Settling into a chair, the 86-year-old British lawmaker Alf Dubs gazes down from the balcony above.
He was younger than these children when, just before the outbreak of World War II, his mother put him on a train alone, traveling from Prague to London. Aged just 6, he knew nobody. Of the hundreds of other Jewish children on the train with him, more than half would never see their parents again. “I didn’t know how scary a situation I was escaping from,” he reflects, as joyful laughter echoes below.
Both Dubs and the children in the courtyard were there as guests of a major 80th anniversary commemoration of the “Kindertransport” — the train journeys that eventually saved the lives of some 10,000 Jewish children from Central Europe in 1938 and 1939. German for “children’s transport,” the trains followed a massive effort led by religious and humanitarian groups to lobby the British state to t..Read More