The Kindertransport Journey: Memory into History

On View

September 13, 2001-January 4, 2002

Immediately after the “Kristallnacht” pogrom of November 9-10, 1938, British Jewry initiated the unique rescue operation that brought ten thousand unaccompanied children from Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria, and Poland to safety in Britain prior to the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939. Through photographs, letters, and artifacts, this exhibition records the personal bravery and individual odysseys of these child-witnesses to history. The Kindertransport Journey: Memory into History, a documentary exhibition tracing this rescue operation, will be on view at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum in New York from September 13, 2001-January 4, 2002.

After the “Kristallnacht” pogrom where German and Austrian Nazis killed 236 Jews, including children, burned and destroyed 260 synagogues, vandalized 7500 businesses and sent 30,000 men to concentration camps, the Jews of Britain initiated the unique rescue operation now known as “Kindertransport.” With aid from Jewish as well as Quaker and other non-Jewish refugee organizations, they rescued 10,000 children. Most of the children were Jews, including infants carried by other children; most of the parents who had sent them to safety perished in the Holocaust.

This exhibition was designed, written, and produced by Robert Sugar for The Kinderstransport Association, on whose executive board he serves. Sugar was rescued from Vienna in January 1939 when he was 8 years old on a Kindertransport. He was sent to the Millisle refugee farm in Northern Ireland, where he lived for nine years, and came to New York in 1948. A graphic designer, art director, and author, he has written and designed extensive educational material on Jewish history and culture. His previous photo exhibit, From Vienna to Belfast: Children of the Farm, recounted his Kindertransport experience. He is the author and designer of the groundbreaking multi-media kit Journey of Fifteen Centuries: The Story of the Jews of Spain (Union of American Hebrew Congregations), The Jews of Sepharad; You Are the Historian (Council of American Jewish Educators), and other works on Jewish history. He is also the long-time art director of Keeping Posted magazine.

Sugar commented on the meaning of the exhibition, saying that it recaptured the story of the Kindertransport by telling the “almost lost story of an almost lost generation.”

Jean Bloch Rosensaft, Exhibitions Director, remarked on the significance of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion showing this exhibition: “By presenting the testimony of those who survived the Holocaust, present day generations have the opportunity to become witnesses to those witnesses, to perpetuate their legacy of remembrance, and to advance the cause of human rights in our time.”

Organized in conjunction with the exhibition:

Lecture and Book-Signing
Meet “THE HOLOCAUST KID” – Sonia Pilcer
Thursday, October 4 at 7 pm

You’ve read about this collection of “finely crafted stories” about a survivor family and their rebellious daughter. Born in a displaced persons camp in Germany, as Pilcer was, Zosha Palovsky searches for an identity apart from her parents’ history. Now you can hear Sonia Pilcer read from what Booklist has described as “provocative fiction, not just for the second generation, but for all our collective memories.” Promises to be a stimulating evening with a strong, new Jewish voice.

Panel Discussion and Book-Signing
Second Generation Voices
Thursday, October 11 at 7 pm

How do sons and daughters of survivors and perpetrators of the Holocaust integrate the Holocaust into their identities and consciousness? This discussion will explore the enduring impact of their parents’ experiences on their own lives as they reflect on the intergenerational transmission of memory and responsibility.


Dr. Alan Berger, Director, Holocaust and Judaic Studies program, Florida Atlantic University


Eva Fogelman, social psychologist, author, Courage and Conscience; Bj�rn Krondorfer, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, St. Mary’s College of Maryland; Menachem Z. Rosensaft, attorney, director, Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Project; Anna E. Rosmus, researcher on Nazi past of her hometown and neo-Nazism in Germany; Julie Salamon, author, journalist, The New York Times


Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum One West 4th Street (between Broadway and Mercer Street), Manhattan


Free, photo ID required.

Museum Hours

Monday-Thursday, 9 am – 6 pm; Friday, 9 am – 3 pm; Selected Sundays, 10 am – 2 pm: September 16; October 14, 28; November 11; December 2, 16.

For information/group tours

please call 212-824-2205.

This exhibition is presented in cooperation with The Kindertransport Association.