The King meets Kindertransport refugees
Published 09 November 2023
In an event commemorating the 85th Anniversary of Kristallnacht, His Majesty spoke to Kindertransport refugees and Jewish leaders including The Chief Rabbi, Sir Ephraim Mirvis.
Kindertransport (Children's Transport) was the informal name of a series of rescue efforts between 1938 and 1940 which brought thousands of refugee children, the vast majority of them Jewish, to Great Britain from Nazi Germany.
The refugees at the event were some of the earliest members of The Association of Jewish Refugees, which was formed in 1941 as a support group for Holocaust refugees and survivors in the UK.
The King was greeted on arrival at The Central Synagogue by The Chief Rabbi, Sir Ephraim Mirvis, before being introduced to groups of Jewish refugees who escaped Nazi persecution via the Kindertransport, who were gathered ahead of a commemorative Kristallnacht Service.
Following Kristallnacht on 9/10 November 1938, the UK Parliament made the historic decision on 21 November 1938 to allow up to 10,000 children from Nazi-occupied Europe to come to the UK.
The Central British Fund (now World Jewish Relief) was instrumental in bringing and caring for the unaccompanied mainly Jewish children while The Association of Jewish Refugees is today the national charity representing and supporting Holocaust refugees and survivors living in Great Britain.
As The Prince of Wales, The King attended a reception to mark the 80th anniversary of the Kindertransport in 2018. His Majesty also attended the 75th anniversary in 2013 and attended a performance of the Last Train to Tomorrow in November 2014. The piece was composed by Carl Davis in honour of the Kindertransport and was performed at a special concert at The Roundhouse, organised by AJR.