Kindertransport evacuee donates her compensation to modern-day refugees
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Kindertransport evacuee donates her compensation to modern-day refugees

Philanthropist recently sent off her application to the Claims Conference for the German government’s compensation to Kindertransport children.

Dame Stephanie Shirley
Dame Stephanie Shirley

A philanthropist who came to the UK on the Kindertransport has said she will give her compensation from the Claims Conference to charity.

Dame Stephanie Shirley, 85, who boarded a train from Vienna in 1939 aged five, founded a software company in 1962 which was later valued at over £3 billion.

An international speaker, whose TED Talk in 2015 is one of the site’s most viewed, recently sent off her application to the Claims Conference for the German government’s compensation to Kindertransport children.

Speaking to Jewish News this week, she said: “I intend to donate my €2,500 windfall to the Safe Passage charity which supports today’s child refugees.”

Dame Shirley’s son Giles suffered significant health difficulties before passing away aged 35, and Kisharon is among the UK charities she supports.

Speaking to Jewish News, Dame Stephanie said: “I’m trying to encourage others to donate theirs as well. There are an estimated 500 of us Kinder still in the UK so that adds up. I’m discussing it with [Lord] Alf Dubs and [Sir] Erich Reich, how we can combine to make a really big donation.”

Asked when she thought she may get the money, she added: “Who knows? It could be 2050 at this rate. But as a charity, Safe Passage seems very appropriate. I’m ashamed of how little this country has done to save child refugees in recent years. It couldn’t be more different to the monumental effort that saved so many of us.”

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