Saturday, December 31, 2005

Into the Arms of Strangers

Into the Arms of Strangers: Have you heard of the Kindertransport? I had vague notions about it but nothing concrete until I picked up this book of interviews with people who as children had been sent from Germany to England all by themselves at very young ages to live with people they'd often never heard of before. They left behind parents and friends in order to escape the growing horror that was the Third Reich; many of them never saw their parents again. This book is based on the Academy Award winning documentary of the same name and it seems like a good place to start learning about the Kindertransport. The stories are compelling and follow the children from the period right before Hitler took over Germany to their lives as adults and explains how, for many of them, the rootlessness caused by leaving their homes so early, influenced their behaviors for the rest of their lives. I'm renting the dvd from Netflix, but next on my reading list, for a change of pace, is my Christmas present to my husband -- Freakonomics.

6 comments:

BabelBabe said...

this book would break my heart.

i used to work with a guy who was one of the kindertransport children. i did not find out until after i left the job. it made me like him alittle more than i did, which wasn't much. but god, to go thru that. eeesh.

Katya said...

It did break my heart -- I can't even imagine something like this.

Flourish & Blotts said...

It stands to reason that those parents would send their children somewhere to be safe but gosh, I never thought about it before. Thanks for the book suggestion. -Flourish

Katya said...

I know -- I hadn't either. I can't imagine how hard that had to be for the parents and the kids too. One father just was completely unable to let go of his daughter so she ended up in the camps with him, She did survive.

BabelBabe said...

Katya - You might check out Mary Doria Russell's A Thread of Grace. it ties in nicely with this -- it details, in fictional form, the efforts of the Italians to aid the Jews. It is a graceful, lovely, and heartbreaking book.

Katya said...

Thanks. I just checked my local library and they have just received copies of this book.