Harwich, UK – 25 January 2022 – As Holocaust Memorial Day approaches, the Harwich Kindertransport Memorial and Learning Appeal commemorates this day by announcing that a new memorial to the Kindertransport is set to be unveiled in Autumn 2022, on the quayside in the port town of Harwich. This was the point of entry for most of the 10,000 Jewish children who arrived on the Kindertransport. The memorial created by artist Ian Wolter will draw attention to the role Britain played in saving Jews from Nazi persecution and murder.
The drive to raise funds for the memorial figures depicting five children descending a ship’s gangplank, is now realising its target. Generous donations have been received, with the German government contributing a significant sum and the Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR) donating £22,500. This initiative is supported by local authorities, as a generous grant has been given by the Harwich Haven Authority Community Fund, a fund administered by the Essex Community Foundation. This funding will go towards an audio bench and new information boards which will be placed around Harwich, detailing the history of the Kindertransport.
Chargé d’Affaires Julia Gross of the German Embassy in London states, “Remembering the horrific accounts of murders and atrocities in Nazi Germany during and after the November pogroms is now more essential than ever. I am therefore immensely proud that the Federal Republic of Germany is supporting the establishment of this unique memorial by Ian Wolter dedicated to the Kindertransport, including a learning programme for the next generations. I hope that the memorial and the stories behind it will become another powerful call to all of us to remain vigilant and to take action against injustice, prejudice and tyranny in every form today, tomorrow and in the future.”
Michael Newman, Chief Executive of the Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR) says, “We are delighted to be an early and major supporter of this excellent initiative and to see it being realised. This project will establish a permanent memorial to the Kindertransport; to the children who fled as well as to their parents and rescuers. The accompanying educational programme will enable future generations to learn about this compelling history, relating a British response to Nazism which will convey the profound and eternal message of the need to protect the most vulnerable from the threat of oppression.”
“We are extremely pleased to award the Harwich Kindertransport Memorial and Learning Appeal with this grant as we believe Harwich should be recognised for the important role it and its people played in the rescue of the Kindertransport children at a time when they desperately needed support, having left their families to face an uncertain future,” said Fiona Brunning, Corporate Affairs Manager at the Harwich Haven Authority.
According to Mike Levy, Chair of the Harwich Kindertransport Memorial and Learning Appeal, “The beautiful new memorial will finally recognise the role of Harwich and its people in saving the lives of 10,000 children. It will take its place alongside other memorials in several European locations including Berlin, Hamburg, Prague, and London. Our aim is that the memorial will act as a catalyst to a whole new generation of exciting learning opportunities which will highlight the role of ordinary people in that unprecedented act of altruism which we call ‘Kindertransport.”
About The Harwich Kindertransport Memorial and Learning Appeal
Together we are forming an authoritative organisation for research, resources, and information about the Kindertransport. Through the permanent memorial, innovative learning programmes, original research, and commemorative events, we will ensure that the testimonies, experiences, and contributions of all those involved are preserved and celebrated.