The Holocaust Education Trust (HET) has launched its ‘Stories from Willesden Lane’ initiative involving 120 schools, to help youngsters understand the experiences of those saved by the Kindertransport.
At an event yesterday at New North London Synagogue – hosted by the Association of Jewish Refugees, which is generously supporting the project – guests included Kindertransport refugees and representatives, HET educators and concert pianist Mona Golabek, whose mother was one of those saved.
Mona’s mother Lisa Jura was brought to England on the Kindertransport when she was forced to flee her home in Vienna as a young girl and rebuild her life in London during the Second World War.
“Her incredible story will bring home the reality of the Holocaust, and Lisa’s refusal to give up on her dreams is set to inspire thousands of students across London,” organisers said this week.
“In an increasingly fragile world, the project will encourage young people to think about their role as active citizens in today’s society and understand the importance of challenging intolerance and prejudice in their communities.”
The name of the project is adapted from the name of a book at Lisa’s life, called The Children of Willesden Lane, which became a one-woman show that toured the United States, educating more than 250,000 American children.
HET is planning to bring thousands of schoolchildren in Years 6-8 “to learn about and reflect on Britain’s response to the plight of the Jews of Europe,” meaning the stories of the children who rebuilt their lives in Britain are kept alive.
“It is a thought-provoking and deeply emotive way to educate the next generation about the significance of the Kindertransport to Britain,” said HET chief executive Karen Pollock. “It will help equip students with the knowledge they need to ensure the memory of the Holocaust continues.”