In 1938 and 1939, about 10,000 children, most of them Jews, were sent by their parents from Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia to the safety of England where foster families took most of them in for the duration of the war. Years later, eleven kinder, one child's mother, an English foster mother, a survivor of Auschwitz who didn't go to England, and two of the kindertransport organizers remember: the days before the Nazis, the mid-to-late 1930s as Jews were ostracized, saying farewell to family, traveling to England, meeting their foster families, writing home, fearing the worst, coping, and trying to find families after the war ended. 1,500,000 children dead; 10,000 saved. Written by
A moving documentary told by adults speaking as children
During that relatively small window of time, prior to the beginning of Hitler's conquest of Europe, when exportation rather than extermination was still the prudent solution to the "Jewish Problem", a rescue plan called the Kindertransport was begun which provided for the relocation of Jewish children from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia into Great Britain. INTO THE ARMS OF STRANGERS is a documentary that examines the Kindertransport program through the eyes of the participants. No broad social commentary here, just remembrances of parents that had to send their kids away to a foreign land and into the arms of strangers so that they might survive the Nazi barbarians. The difficulty of having to provide a whole life's worth of instruction to children just before those devastating last goodbyes. A little girl wondering why, just after Hitler annexed Austria, none of her long-time Austrian friends showed up for her eighth birthday party. Parents desperately trying to keep the harsh reality of Nazi occupation from the innocent little people oblivious to the evil of man. And once the children were safe in Britain, their desperate attempts to get sponsors for parents left behind and for those lucky enough to be re-united with family after the war, having to say goodbye once again, only this time to broken hearted foster parents. This documentary is made more effective by snap-shots of the children, archival footage of Nazi Germany during the late 1930's ( a veritable sewer of anti-Jewish destruction and propaganda), and in this context, the painfully frightening sound effects of broken glass, trains and the voices of children singing in German, which seem strangely perverted; an unfortunate consequence which Germans should never forgive the Nazi's.
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