THE STORY OF THE SQUARE

Kindertransport Memory Quilt Square

Quilt 3, Square 7

Artist: Lottie Nathan

On May 3rd 1939, twenty-seven of us met at our Jewish School in Danzig; twenty-seven children between the ages of 8 and 14.  At that time I was 9 years old.

Leaving our parents and family behind, we boarded buses for the railway station, then on to Holland by train, picking up several more groups of children on the way, eventually arriving in England on May 5th.

I remember this vast hall in Harwich where we all gathered, tearful, tired and very lonely, each wearing a photo and name tag around our necks, waiting to be picked up by strangers with matching photographs.

I recall being taken by the hand by a very well dressed lady wearing a fur stole around her shoulders and being photographed with her; the photograph was published in the local newspaper the following day.

I was ultimately taken home with a family that had three small boys.  Because we had no common language, my “Foster Parents” were always to be found with a German-English dictionary in their hands for the first few weeks.  Once at school, being the only Jew and the only German-speaking child in that school, I picked up the language rapidly.  I was there for just a few months before being evacuated to a small village near Bath where I stayed until finishing school at age 17.

To this day I have not been able to find out what became of my mother and younger brother and sister.

Although I was devastated at losing my hat (which I loved dearly) on the journey to England, I have saved several items which I brought with me from Danzig, one of which is the outfit pictured on the square for the “Memory Quilt”.

Lottie (Charlotte) Nathan (nee Sittenberg)
Glenview, Illinois, USA
March 1998


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