Kindertransport plaque rededicated
The AJR was delighted to organise a special gathering on 20 November 2013 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the debate in Parliament that led to the creation of the Kindertransport.
The event began with a special ceremony to rededicate the commemorative plaque erected in June 1999 in gratitude of Parliament’s decision of 21 November 1938 to create the Kindertransport. In paying tribute to the Kinder, current Speaker of the House, Rt Hon John Bercow MP, reflected on his own family’s migration to Britain and the huge strides that have been made in the protection of human rights since the Holocaust. Also present at the rededication ceremony were Baroness Betty Boothroyd, who was The Speaker when the plaque was installed, and Lord Alf Dubs, himself a Kind, who was rescued by Sir Nicholas Winton.
Following the rededication, some 60 Kinder then joined Lord Dubs and Baroness Boothroyd for a celebratory Tea in the Strangers Dining Room and the chance to socialise and reminisce. There was even a chance reunion as the wife of the couple who had travelled from the US for the event happened to be sitting next to a lady who had come over to Britain on the same Kindertransport from Germany.
Welcoming fellow Kinder, Sir Erich Reich, Chairman of the AJR Kindertransport Committee, made reference to the pivotal role played by Philip Noel-Baker, the member of Parliament who initiated the debate on 21 November 1938 following the events of Kristallnacht with the words, “I beg to move, That this House notes with profound concern the deplorable treatment suffered by certain racial, religious and political minorities in Europe, and, in view of the growing gravity of the refugee problem would welcome an immediate concerted effort amongst the nations, including the United States of America, to secure a common policy.”
Sir Erich said, “This special occasion gives us cause to celebrate but also to recognise the significance of the debate that led to our rescue for which we, and our families, will be eternally grateful.”
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