Kindertransport Resources  

These resources have been compiled by the Kindertransport Association as an effort to make it easier for students and interested parties to locate all the best materials in print, film, and online. Use the search feature or browse by category using the links to the left. More history and stories about the Kindertransport can be found in our History and Voices sections.

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Fiction

A Faraway Island
Thor, Annika. Delacorte Books for Young Readers, New York City, November 10, 2009.

In the summer of 1939 two Jewish sisters from Vienna, 12 year-old Stephie Steiner and 8 year-old Nellie, are sent to Sweden to escape the Nazis. They expect to stay there six months, until their parents can flee to Amsterdam; then all four will go to America. But as the world war intensifies, the girls remain, each with her own host family, on a rugged island off the western coast of Sweden.

Children will readily empathize with Stephie's courage. Both sisters are well-drawn, likable characters. This is the first of four books Thor has written about the two girls.

A Stranger in the Family
Barnard, Robert. Scribner, 2010, New York.

A suspense novel with a Scottish KT2 main character. His mother was a teacher; his father, a journalist, escaped from Nazi Germany at the age of three on a Kindertransport in 1939.

Austerlitz
Sebald, W.G.. New York: Random House, 2001.

Baumgartner's Bombay
Desai, Anita. London: William Heinemann, 1987.

Far to Go
Pick, Alison. Anansi Press, 1010, Toronto, Canada.

Pick's novel, her second, follows two separate narratives. One is the first-person storyline of an unnamed storyteller, an elderly contemporary Canadian academic who has devoted her career to interviewing children of the Kindertransport, and trying to understand the ways in which this traumatic event affected their lives.

Faraway Home
Taylor, Marilyn. O’Brien Press, Dublin, Ireland, 2009.

Karl and Rosa's family watch in horror as Hitler's troops parade down the streets of their home city - Vienna. It has become very dangerous to be a Jew in Austria, and after their uncle is sent to Dachau, Karl and Rosa's parents decide to send the children out of the country on a Kindertransport.

Isolated and homesick, Karl ends up in Millisle, a run-down farm in Ards in Northern Ireland, which has become a Jewish refugee centre, while Rosa is fostered by a local family.

Finding Sophie
Watts, Irene N. Tundra Books, Toronto, Canada, 2003.

Sophie Mandel was only seven years old when she arrived in London on the first Kindertransport from Germany. She has grown up with a friend of her parents, a woman she calls Aunt Em, and despite the war and its deprivations, she has made a good life for herself in England with her foster mother. She has even stopped thinking about the parents she left behind. Now the war is over, and fourteen-year-old Sophie is faced with a terrible dilemma. Where does she belong?

Flight of the Maidens
Gardam, Jane. New York: Carroll & Graf, 2001.

Good-bye Marianne A Story of Growing Up in Nazi Germany
Watts, Irene N. Tundra Books, Toronto, Canada, 2008.

As autumn turns toward winter in 1938 Berlin, life for Marianne Kohn, a young Jewish girl, begins to crumble. First there was the burning of the neighbourhood shops. Then her father, a mild-mannered bookseller, must leave the family and go into hiding. No longer allowed to go to school or even sit in a café, Marianne’s only comfort is her beloved mother. Things are bad, but could they get even worse? Based on true events, this fictional account of hatred and racism speaks volumes about both history and human nature.

Great House
Krauss, Nicole. W. W. Norton & Company, New York, October 2010.

Great House,novel consisting of four stories divided among eight chapters, has a number of narrators: Nadia, a young writer living in New York; Aaron, an old Israeli, mourning the death of his wife and desperate to connect to his son, Dov, estranged since the Yom Kippur War; Arthur, a retired Oxford don, married for almost 50 years to the intense Lotte Berg, a Jewish writer who came to England with the Kindertransport; and Izzy, an Oxford student.

Her First American
Segal, Lore. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1985.

Kindertransport
Childers, Jennifer. U.S.A: The Wild Rose Press, 2009.

A romance novel taking place in pre war Nazi Germany.

Nurse Erika Lehmier cares for the children housed at Grafeneck Castle as though they were her own. When the SS confiscates Grafeneck, Erika discovers plans to turn the castle into a treatment center that will end the lives of children with disabilities.

Erika must find a way to escape—or face the heartbreaking decision to give them a peaceful death by her own hand.

Liverpool Street
Voorhoeve, Anne C. Ravensburger Verlag, Germany, 2008.

Contained within the story of ten-year-old Ziska (Franziska Mangold) is a whole slice of prewar and wartime history, from Kristallnacht to Auschwitz, from the Kindertransport taking Jewish children to safety in England (hence the title ‘Liverpool Street’) to the varied fortunes of the young refugees, and from wartime sacrifices to deportations to the Isle of Man. This moving novel portrays the growing up of a young girl amongst scenes of great tragedy.

Currently available in German only, translations will soon be released: USA (Penguin); France; Netherlands.

Making Things Better
Brookner, Anita. New York: Random House, 2002.

Missing Girls
Metzger, Lois. New York: Penguin USA Viking Childrens Books, 1999.

Lois Metzger's young adult novel features a young main character whose mother was on a Kindertransport.

My Family for the War
Voorhoeve, Anne. Dial Books for Young Readers, Penguin Press, 2012, USA.

At the start of World War II, ten-year-old Franziska Mangold is torn from her family when she boards the kindertransport in Berlin. Taken in by strangers who soon become more like family than her real parents, Frances (as she is now known) courageously pieces together a new life for herself because she doesn't know when or if she'll see her true family again. Against the backdrop of war-torn London, Frances struggles with questions of identity, family, and love.

Originally published in Germany.

Other People's Houses
Segal, Lore. New York: Ballantine Books, 1986.

A fictionalized account of Lore Groszmann Segal's young life in Austria, England and the Dominican Republic.

Remember Me A Search for Refuge in Wartime Britain
Watts, Irene N. Tundra Books, Toronto, Canada, 2000.

Young Marianne has escaped on one of the first kindertransporte organized to take Jewish children out of Germany to safety in Britain.At first Marianne is desperate. She does not speak English, she is not welcome in her sponsors’ home, and, most of all, she misses her mother terribly.

In this companion to Good-bye Marianne, Irene N. Watts has created a memorable character, and a story that is ultimately about hope, not war.

Shakespeare’s Kitchen: Stories
Segal, Lore. New Press, New York, 2007.

What began as seven interrelated short stories published in The New Yorker is now a full-length collection of thirteen stories featuring Austrian Kind Ilka Weisz, who accepts a position at a think tank called the Concordance Institute, and her struggle to form a new family out of friends and coworkers. Shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize.

Sisterland
Newberry, Linda. Random House, New York, 2003.

There are two time frames in this novel for young adults that deals with issues of ethnicity, otherness and prejudice. In contemporary Northampton we find Hilly and her friends and family. Her grandmother, Heidigran, suffers from Alzheimer's.

The second time frame - before, during and immediately after the second world war, follows young Sarah Reubens, who is sent from Cologne on the Kindertransport to safety in Northampton.

The English German Girl
Simons, Jake Wallis. Polygon: An Imprint of Birlinn Limited, Edinburgh, Scotland, April 2011.

'Rosa must carry her suitcase herself. She heaves it up, walks through the doorway, looks back one final time: Papa and Mama are standing arm in arm, they are waving, but their masks have fallen away, they look hopeless, and that is the worst thing of all; Rosa turns her back and they are gone.'

The Klein family is slowly but surely losing everything they hold dear or ever took for granted as Hitler's anti-Jewish laws take hold in 1930s Berlin. In desperation, fifteen-year-old Rosa is put on a Kindertransport train out of Germany, to begin a new life in England.

The Latecomers
Brookner, Anita. New York: Pantheon Books, 1989.

The Nature of Blood
Phillips, Caryl. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997.

Total Recall
Paretsky, Sara. New York: Delacorte Press, 2001.

War Story
Edelman, Gwen. New York: Penguin Putnam, 2001.

 

 
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