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'Child Refugees: Five Portraits from the Kindertransport' opens 13 June

two child refugees from Vienna

In recognition of the 75th anniversary of the Kindertransport, The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide is launching a new exhibition looking at five unique journeys taken by child refugees and those who helped them during the Second World War.

The story of the Kindertransport has been told many times: in the days prior to the Second World War, approximately 10,000 children were sent away from their families in Europe in order to seek safety in Britain. In 2013, the remaining ‘Kinder’ are celebrating the 75th anniversary of their arrival in the United Kingdom. ‘Child Refugees: Five Portraits from the Kindertransport’ takes a fresh look at this significant humanitarian effort. The Wiener Library put out a call for materials in late 2012 and received extraordinary stories from surviving Kinder and their families. Five of these are highlighted in the new exhibition.

By examining the familiar images of the Kindertransport and highlighting personal stories, the exhibition rediscovers concealed histories that speak to the diverse experiences of the child refugees. From the girl who brought her brother’s coloured pencils all the way to England and later won recognition as an artist, to the table tennis champion who accompanied a class of children on a transport from Poland and never went back, no two stories are the same. The rich collection of mementos, letters and papers on display give a human face to the incredible scale of the initiative.

‘Child Refugees: Five Portraits from the Kindertransport’ runs at The Wiener Library, 29 Russell Square from Thursday 13 June, 2013 until Wednesday 2 October, 2013. Admission is free.

For more details or press images, contact Molly Brookfield.

Made possible with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Added: Friday 7th June, 2013