New museum for children who fled Nazis

A new museum dedicated to those who helped 10,000 mostly Jewish children in Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland to escape from the Nazis is opening in Vienna.

New museum for children who fled Nazis
An image from the Für das Kind museum. Photo: Rosie Potter

For a period of nine months, between 1938 and 1939, a number of courageous men and women organised almost 100 trains to bring children under 17 out of their countries of origin and into safety under the auspices of the Central British Fund.

The children travelled to the Netherlands by train, then they were taken by ferry to Harwich in Essex and continued their journey by train to London Liverpool Street.

The first Kindertransport left Vienna on December 10th 1938, going from Westbahnhof to London. The last one departed on August 22nd 1939.

The memorial museum Für das Kind is located in Radetzkystraße in the 3rd district, in a building which formerly housed 380 Jews in mass accommodation before they were deported to death camps.

The exhibition consists of 23 framed photographic prints featuring objects that the children took with them on their journey.

PICTURE GALLERY: More images from the museum

Each child could only take one suitcase and was not allowed to take jewellery or valuables, musical instruments or cameras. More than two thirds of the children never saw their parents again, and the objects they took with them were often the only things they had to remind them of their families. 

The museum – the first in the world to focus on the Kindertransport – will be opened on December 10th by the Minister for Arts and Culture Dr Josef Ostermayer and will then be available for group visits on request. Email [email protected] for more details.

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