Bid for Kindertransport memorial in Essex town

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Bid for Kindertransport memorial in Essex town

A fundraising drive aims to erect a statue to Kindertransport children in Harwich, near where 10,000 children spent first few weeks in the UK.

Artist Ian Wolter with a figure for the Kindertransport Memorial
Artist Ian Wolter with a figure for the Kindertransport Memorial

A Kindertransport memorial is set to be erected in the Essex port town of Harwich to commemorate the child refugees who came to the town.

On 2 December, 1938, hundreds of children, many Jewish, arrived in Harwich as part of a rescue mission to get them out of Nazi-occupied Europe.

While several Kindertransport memorials have been established across Europe, one does not yet exist in town, despite 10,000 children spending their first weeks in the area.

The planned statue, which is in construction by artist Ian Wolter, will show five children descending from a ship’s gangplank. Also planned is a town trail, audio bench and new information boards which will be strategically placed around the town.

However, it will only be realised if £140,000 is raised – with around £70,000 already raised so far.

Michael Newman, from the Association of Jewish Refugees, which has donated £22,500 to the project, said: “As a sponsor of this important project, we are committed to ensuring that future generations will learn about Harwich’s role in welcoming thousands of Jewish refugee children who were forced to flee from Nazi persecution.”

The chair of the appeal, Mike Levy, added: “We are sure that Harwich will at last be recognised for the crucial role it and its townspeople played in the rescue of children destined otherwise for murder in the Holocaust.”

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