lady painting

 

Nov 2009 Journal

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The Kindertransport Seventy Years On


A lively and well-attended workshop outlining new developments in research took place on 17 September 2009 at the Institute for Germanic & Romance Studies, London, organised by Dr Andrea Hammel (Centre for German-Jewish Studies) and Dr Bea Lewkowicz (Research Centre for German and Austrian Exile Studies). Over 45 participants listened to the seven presentations and engaged in lively debate.

Anthony Grenville (Consultant Editor, AJR Journal) gave a comprehensive introduction, placing the history of the Kindertransport within debates on the truth and myth of British hospitality towards refugees. Hermann Hirschberger, former Chairman of the Association of Jewish Refugees’ Kindertransport Special Interest Group, introduced the ‘Kindertransport Survey: Making New Lives in Britain’ project. Using material from this survey, Francis Williams, a doctoral student from the University of Edinburgh, followed with a paper on the migratory patterns of Kindertransportees who initially settled in Scotland. PhD student Jana Buresova spoke on Nicholas Winton and Bea Lewkowicz introduced the audience to the interviews with former Kindertransportees which can be found in the AJR’s Refugee Voices archive. Leslie Baruch Brent, author of Sunday’s Child? A Memoir (Bank House Books, 2009), spoke about his own experience and the process of autobiographical writing.

After a brief talk by Andrea Hammel outlining possible new directions for research on the subject, participants offered further suggestions for new projects. A screening of the BBC documentary Kindertransport Story, introduced by its director Lindsay Hill, impressed the audience and concluded the workshop.
 

Andrea Hammel

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