Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Kindertransport memorial

When we were in Berlin, we saw a lot of various Holocaust memorials. A lot. Of everything that we saw, I have to say that the Kindertransport Memorial was the most haunting and moving.

In 1938, after Kristallnacht, a group of Jews and Quakers in England organized a fund to get Jewish children out of Germany and to safety in England. The children traveled by train and were taken into camps or foster families in England. This movement was able to save the lives of nearly 10,000 children before the transports had to stop due to lack of funds.

When we were walking around Berlin, we saw the memorial right outside of the Friedrichstra├če train station. At the time, I only had my iPhone on me. I took a few pictures, but the memorial had such a profound effect on me, that I had to come back before I left and take pictures with my real camera.

This memorial was created and donated to the city of Berlin by Israeli sculptor Frank Meisler. He was one of the children that was saved by the Kindertransports.
The memorial is meant to look like a train platform along a track. There are two sides to it.

1938 side
1945 side
The 1938 side of the memorial shows two children about to board the train for England. The children are lighter and shinier. They look hopeful and happy. The little girl is clutching her Teddy Bear.

The 1945 side is darker in color. There are 5 children huddled in a group. They all look worn out and tired. There is an opened suitcase lying on the platform behind them and it contains a broken doll. You can see of the girls wearing the telltale yellow star.

These children don't have any hope to them. They know that they are being deported to the camps.

The point of the memorial is that the direction of the train track decides if you live or die. The Friedrichstra├če train station was the station that children who were going to England departed from.

These photos were uploaded via the BlogPress app on my iPad and appear blurry when viewed in Safari. To see them clearly, click on each photo individually to see the emotion and detail of this memorial.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. thank you for sharing these photos, ive never seen them.

    did i ever tell you i staffed the march of the living to poland and israel three times? we should discuss one day!

  2. I really hope to see these in person one day.

  3. I had no idea this existed. Thank you so much for sharing! What a wonderful thing those people did!