Frank Meisler’s Kindertransport memorial at the Gdańsk Główny railway station in Poland.

Vienna Will Be Home of Kindertransport Museum

Vienna is set to see the opening of what organizers say is the world’s first permanent museum dedicated to the story of the Kindertransport.

The museum is to open in the center of the Austrian capital on Dec. 10, the 76th anniversary of the departure of the first group of Jewish children from Vienna as part of the Kindertransport — the German-language name for the organized shipment of Jewish children, often by their own parents, out of areas controlled by Nazis or in threat of coming under their control, to save the children from the Holocaust.

The Memorial Museum “Für das Kind” (“For the Child” in German) is dedicated to the stories of the people who helped organize the shipment of approximately 10,000 children from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland to England between 1938 and 1939.

The modest-sized museum will open in a basement on Radetzkystrasse, which Nazis used to house Jewish families before their deportation. The museum was made possible with donations from five sponsors, according to Milli Segal, a Viennese communications professional who was involved in the museum’s creation. Entrance to the museum will need to be arranged in advance through contact details available on her website.

The main exhibition comprises 23 posters of suitcases with objects that children who survived the Holocaust thanks to the Kindertransport took with them when they left. Over several years, curators Rosie Potter and Patricia Ayre collected photographs, books, dolls, ice skates, school reports and clothes. One child’s suitcase contained an apron believed to have belonged to the child’s mother.

Attending the opening will also be Ingrid Joseph from Britain and her son, Julien. In her diary, which she later turned into a book, Joseph documented her arrival in Britain from her native Vienna at the age of 12 with her sister Lieselotte, where the sisters learned of their mother’s death in a German Nazi camp.

She will be in Vienna as a guest of the city’s Jewish Welcome Service, which organizes visits for Jewish Holocaust survivors from Vienna.

Author

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Vienna Will Be Home of Kindertransport Museum

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close