1 McFarland Dr
Warwick, NY 10990
The Albert Wisner Public Library will show the film “Into the Arms of Strangers” on Monday, April 24.
The movie recounts how Great Britain provided foster homes to thousands of children following Kristallnacht, the “night of broken glass” against Jews in Germany in 1938. It will be shown at the library’s regular “Monday Afternoon at the Movie’s” at 1 p.m. The movie is being shown this day April 24 because it is Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Linda Dubin who introduced the Holocaust movie last year, “The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendle,” will introduce the movie and provide some information on the Holocaust and the Kindertransport.This event is free and open to the public.
The film tells about a rescue mission called The Kinder (Children’s) Transport which took place from Dec. 2, 1938, to Sept. 1, 1939. Unaccompanied by their parents, 10,000 Jewish children lives were saved when they arrived in England from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland.
Although Hitler’s campaign against the Jews began as early as 1933 when Hitler was elected chancellor, it escalated on Nov. 9 and 10, 1939.
On those two days throughout Germany, bands of Brown Shirt Nazis destroyed Jewish synagogues, businesses, homes and attacked and arrested many Jewish people. Many of the building were burned and there was a pall of smoke hanging over the cities of Germany.
So many windows in the synagogues, businesses and homes were destroyed that these two days were known as Kristallnacht, “the night of the broken glass.”
Five days later, a delegation of British, Jewish and Quaker leaders appealed to the Great Britain’s Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and requested that the British government permit the temporary admission of Jewish children without their parents.
A bill in Parliament was quickly passed to allow up to 15,000 children from infants to age 17 to enter Great Britain. A number of charitable agencies combined to fund it and guaranteed 50 pounds Sterling for each child and helped find foster homes for the children.
The first group of 200 children arrived at Harwich on Dec. 21, 1938, just three weeks after Kristallnacht. In the following nine months 10,000 Jewish children travelled from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland to Great Britain until Sept. 1,1939 , the day Poland was invaded by German.
On Sept. 3, 1939, England and France declared war on German and World War II officially began in Europe.
“Into the Arms of Strangers” tells the stories of some of these children, their families and life in Europe in 1938 and many photos from 1938 are included in this film.
The movie is also about the English families who took these children in and gave them a home at a time when the world looked the other way.
Despite the horrors of the Holocaust, the Kindertransport showed that there is goodness and compassion in the world; even in the worst of times people can still act with foresight and charity.