Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport

By Schneider, Hans | Shofar, Summer 2002 | Go to article overview

Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport


Schneider, Hans, Shofar


by Mark Jonathan Harris and Deborah Oppenheimer. New York: Bloomsbury, 2000. 304 pp. $27.50.

These are reflections some 60 years later on formative experiences in childhood and youth. The speakers, Jewish under Hitler's racial laws, fled perilous conditions in Germany, Austria, or Czechoslovakia and travelled to Britain in the ten months between the pogrom of Kristallnacht and the outbreak of the European war. They were admitted to Britain thanks to Neville Chamberlain's government, and their journeys and receptions were organized by Jewish and Quaker organizations. Their parents stayed behind in often desperate circumstances in spite of huge pressures to force their emigration because of the difficulty of finding a country that allowed them entry. Many of the children lost their parents in the final solution.

The trains (and a few boats) on which the children travelled are called "Kindertransports"; the children themselves are called "Kinder" (in the singular, "Kind"). These expressions specialize the usual German meaning of these words. The book under review consists mainly of interviews with Kinder. It also contains interviews with several of their mothers and two men who helped to arrange the Kindertransports. The book covers the childhood of the Kinder in their home countries but concentrates on their lives in England. Their stories range from the harrowing to the uplifting. The most surprising relate the efforts by some Kinder to obtain coveted entry visas to England for their parents, and the successes that were achieved. There is also the excellent terse introduction by David Cesarani which gives the historical context. The final section is a tribute by Deborah Oppenheimer to her mother, a Kind, which is one of the very moving parts of this book written from the point of view of a member of the next generation.

The movie on which the book is based has most of this material, and in addition has contemporary footage which evokes Britain at war as well as anything I recall. It fully deserves its Oscar.

Contradictory as the quotations are at the head of this review, they express some of the deeper effects of being uprooted: unhappiness and attachment to the country that gave shelter, a not infrequent combination in the same person. This, and much else, is well documented in many variations in Harrison and Oppenheimer's book.

Ethnic harassment, temporary or permanent separation from their parents, and the challenges of living in a foreign country, these are experiences common to almost all Kinder. There must be many others who had to face one of these hazards but few who were confronted with all three at a comparable age. Obviously all had some effect on the future characters and lives of the Kinder. But one may ask: which of these factors is the most significant? …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.