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Kindertransporte’ is staged again 70 years on—at same station

PUBLISHED: 21:57 06 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:45 05 October 2010

Kindertransporte refugees arrived in 1938 with just a suitcase

Kindertransporte refugees arrived in 1938 with just a suitcase

THE 70th anniversary of the first arrival of the Kindertransporte refugee children at London’s Liverpool Street Station is being re-enacted in three theatre performances at the same location. The concourse and platforms of the rail terminus burst into life on December 2 with Suitcase, a mix of site specific’ theatre and music to remember the children fleeing Nazi persecution in Hitler's Germany

THE 70th anniversary of the first arrival of the Kindertransporte refugee children at London’s Liverpool Street Station is being re-enacted in three theatre performances at the same location, writes Mike Brooke..

The concourse and platforms of the rail terminus burst into life on December 2 with Suitcase, an original mix of site specific’ theatre and music to remember the children fleeing Nazi persecution in Germany.

The performances have been devised from original source material by Dr Ros Merkin and produced by Jane Merkin, daughters of Johanna who came from Vienna as a child on the Kindertransporte in December, 1938.

The play takes small groups of audience on a journey through Liverpool Street Station, stumbling on scenes played out by bewildered refugee children, waiting foster parents, transport organisers and bemused railway workers and bystanders.

Commuters hurrying to catch their trains home on December 2 are being hijacked by a unique synthesis of memory and history which includes music from the Trans-Siberian Marching Band blending carols of the coming Christmas with music from the Old Country.

The first Jewish children fleeing Hitler’s Greater Germany’ arrived in Britain on December 2, 1938, at the start of what became known as the Kindertransporte’ scheme which saved 9,500 youngsters, mostly Jews but also including 2,000 children of the Nazis’ political opponents.

The scheme lasted 18 months before it was halted by the outbreak of the Second World War in September, 1939.

Very few children ever saw their parents or families again. Many passed through Liverpool Street on their way to their final destinations across Britain.

The one-hour performances on December 2 are at 10.30am, 1pm and 7.30pm, with the audience moving around the station with the performers.

The event is free, but must be booked in advance by calling 020-7503 1640, or emailing jane@khpl.co.uk


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