Last Train to Tomorrow
The Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR) was deeply honoured to welcome His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales as our special guest at the London premiere of The Last Train to Tomorrow at the Roundhouse on Sunday 9 November.
Commissioned by the Halle Orchestra, The Last Train to Tomorrow tells the extraordinary story of the Kindertransport through a sequence of ten songs that was composed and conducted by the internationally acclaimed artist Carl Davis and performed by The Finchley Children’s Music Group.
The event also featured The Marriage of Figaro Overture by Mozart and Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto. The music was performed by City of London Sinfonia together with Louisa Staples, a young violin soloist from The Yehudi Menuhin School.
Natasha Kaplinksy, the newsreader and television presenter, and member of Prime Minister David Cameron’s Holocaust Commission, introduced the event. As 9 November marked the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the concert began with a dedication given by Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg together with six Kinder lighting memorial candles. Among the honoured guests were Lord Dubs - himself a Kind who fled Czechoslovakia - and representatives of the Ambassadors of Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic.
The devastation of Kristallnacht led to the mass emigration of Jews from Germany and Austria and persuaded the British government to create the Kindertransport, through which some 10,000 children, aged between three and 17, found refuge in Britain from Nazi oppression.
The premiere concluded the series of events that The AJR has organised in recent months to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Kindertransport.
The symbolism of the anniversary of Kristallnacht and that the Roundhouse was formerly a turning point for trains and is located near Swiss Cottage, the area in London where many of the escaping refugees settled, helped make the concert memorable and historic.
AJR Chairman Andrew Kaufman and Chairman of the AJR-Kindertransport Speical Iinterest group, Sir Erich Reich, said: “The AJR was deeply honoured and enormously proud that The Prince of Wales personally decided to honour us with his presence. Having met Kinder at events to mark the 70th and 75th anniversaries of the Kindertransport, we feel very privileged that he could be part of this historic occasion."
Given the popularity of the souvenir brochure that was available at the concert, the AJR is to issue a reprint. If you would like a copy, please send a cheque for £5 to the AJR, Jubilee House, Merrion Avenue, Stanmore, Middx HA7 4RL