During World War II, the Kindertransport program enabled 10,000 Jewish children to escape Nazi Germany and Austria, and resettle in England. Recently some of these children (now retired professionals), gathered before the House of Parliament to talk about the Syrian refugee crisis.
In this moving op-ed, Rabbi Mark Goldsmith makes this important point, “If the government in the 1930s had listened to the critics who said we didn’t have room, and we had enough problems caring for our own, then the entire group stood before the Houses of Parliament with me would not have survived. We should not forget that the Daily Express in its editorial on the issue on 19th June 1939 was less than charitable saying: “There is no room for any more refugees in this country.” But instead the Kindertransport and many other refugee programmes undertaken since are part of a proud British tradition of helping those in most need….We must act now.”
For more on the story of the Kindertransport, the documentary “Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport” is an excellent source.