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My Knees Were Jumping: Remembering the Kindertransports (1996)

According to Hulu's offering, this documentary (from 1966) is "a Powerful account of an astonishing slice of Holocaust history, told with poignant intimacy by the daughter of a survivor. On... See full summary »

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According to Hulu's offering, this documentary (from 1966) is "a Powerful account of an astonishing slice of Holocaust history, told with poignant intimacy by the daughter of a survivor. On the eve of WWII, Jewish children boarded trains taking them to refuge in London, many never to see their parents again.

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January 1996 (USA)  »

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Heartfelt documentary about a little known story
21 February 2006 | by (Boulder, CO) – See all my reviews

As with many documentaries on the horrors of Nazi Germany, this one will make you sad and angry. It is the story of the Kindertransports, the transport to Great Britain of thousands of Jewish children out of Germany, Austria, Poland and Czechoslovakia in the late 1930s.

The film is directed by Melissa Hacker, the daughter of Ruth Morley, one of the children who escaped. Mrs. Morley is the main focus, but many children who were involved in the journey speak of their memories. The children were put on trains and 90% of them never saw their parents again. In one heartrending scene we see a crowd of parents bravely waving goodbye to the children that they knew they were unlikely to see again.

I learned from this movie. For one thing, I had never heard of this Kindertransports. For another, I had not realized that most countries refused to take Jewish refugees, the United States in particular. How could this be? I wish more information had been given on this as well as more historical background in general, since this is an important story.

I mentioned being sad and angry, but there is inspiration to be had here as well. That the survivors interviewed went on to make good lives for themselves, many of them in the United States, speaks of their courage and determination and says much about human adaptability and the spirit to carry on. But the scars of their traumas are carried inside and, as we are shown, even passed to subsequent generations.


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