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9 July 2021
We are honoured to be the first to publish an original and personal article by Ann Chadwick: Suzie
When I was two and so very new in the world, a big sister suddenly arrived, with dark curly hair, sharp elbows, a tendency to nick my dolls and speaking a language I did not understand.
Suzie was five, an Austrian Jewish refugee and forever labelled a “kindertransport child”.
Her distraught parents had handed her over at midnight on Prague station to a group of rescuers, whose efforts secured her safety and brought her into the Chadwick family.
Although Suzie’s parents later got news that she had settled well, they were not allowed to come with her and were never to see their daughter again. They were both later murdered in Auschwitz. My parents had responded to an appeal to care for a refugee child from Europe for as long as necessary, pledging the large amount of £50 towards the cost of eventual repatriation, which of course never happened. My Dad was earning £4.00 a week as a teacher.
So began our sisterhood in July 1939, just two months before the start of WW2.
I soon learned that ‘ich weiss nicht’ meant ‘I don’t understand’, and my parents soon learnt that when Suzie wailed all through the night murmuring ‘Mutti’ and ‘Taschentuch’, she wanted her Mum and a handkerchief.
They soon grew to love and understand her and so did I.
Why am I telling you all this now, 82 years later? Because I feel I owe it to her and her parents to be involved in ensuring that the children of today remember Suzie’s story*, and that of the other children on the Kindertransport.
We still see refugee children arriving today with no accompanying parents and no home to go to.
Suzie changed my life. I share our story in schools and am thrilled that there is to be a permanent memorial in Harwich where the children first felt security, and where, to their astonishment, a policeman smiled and was kind.
We need to commemorate all that the Kinder contributed to their adopted home and not let this amazing episode of history fade into the ever – decreasing ozone layer.
Suzie became an excellent nurse and the Night Superintendent at the London Hospital.
We WILL remember them and tell their story, in Harwich where the British journey all began. ‘Yes we can’ make that memorial happen, if we put our minds to it and our hands in our pockets like we did in 1939.
Suzie gave me so much, and I am the grateful one.
Article edited by Helen Brown, Community Liaison Manager
*“Suzie: the little girl who changed our lives” by Ann Chadwick. [Keystage Arts and Heritage Company, Cambridge, 2012]
2 June 2021
Artist Ian Wolter is working continuously on the memorial, and the fundraising committee was privileged to be invited to a tour inside his studio in Saffron Walden, Essex:
24 May 2021
We are now half way to funding the memorial statue!
The Harwich Kindertransport Memorial Appeal is looking now for a further £70,000 to help complete the statue on the quayside. While we continue with the fundraising campaign, we are forging partnerships with regional and national bodies, to develop the educational resources for teaching about the Kindertransport and other refugee narratives.
15 February 2021
We have now started collecting credit card donations via JustGiving.com – please visit our Support Us page for details. Meanwhile, the first figure of Ian Wolter’s statue is progressing well:
8 January 2021
The new year began with exciting news that our sculptor has started work on the memorial. Here’s a sneak preview of Ian Wolter working on the first figure.
23 December 2020
Our Chair Mike Levy gave a talk to the East London and Essex Liberal Synagogue. The topic was ‘Forgotten Heroes of the Kindertransport’. He highlighted the forgotten figures who set up the mass rescue of Jewish children from Nazi persecution. These included Wilfred Israel, Bertha Bracey and Rabbi Dr. Solomon Schonfeld.
8 December 2020
Pleased to announce our third and fourth donations. Thank you to all who read Mike Levy’s article in the AJR Journal, December 2020, page 10.
Our second donation has arrived – a major contribution from a private donor whose father was a key organiser of the first Kindertransports.
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