For this assignment, I started by thinking about the things that interest me that are conventionally known histories. One thing that has always peeked my interests has been World War 2 and the mass exodus of people, specifically Jews, from Germany before the war. The people migrated all over the world, some went to England and other parts of the UK others traveled to the United States to escape Nazi opression. Last semester in my methods class we looked specifically at refugees and that interest has carried with. I thought it would be interesting to revisit that topic and portray a history of that exodus of people through the eyes of children.
The largest movement of these children happened in 1938 and is known as the kindertransport. This effort was made by the British at the time under the allowance surprisingly of the Nazi regime. The Nazis allowed an unspecified number of Jewish children from ages 5-17, sometimes younger if they could be carried by older siblings, to board British planes and essentially flee the country. The Nazis allowed these children to exit carrying only one bag of personal items and a single Deutsche Mark. These Children were stripped from their parents and everything they knew in Germany and were flown into Britain to stay in temporary homes at makeshift camps. The hope was that every child would eventually be adopted by a family in the UK. I was able to find an article from The Evening Telegraph and Post the highlights what life was like at one of the larger camps known as Camp Holiday. In this article, the children are quoted on how they are settling in and what personal items they brought from Germany. For instance, one child brought his violin with him in the hopes of making music in the camp. This is important because it shows the way these children will bring their heritage with them and while they may have become migratory they will take their German culture with them.
I really enjoyed getting back into more research on this topic. I really enjoyed writing on it last semester but I feel looking at historical topics from different perspectives is why I chose to study history. I think a newspaper where a reporter is quoting a certain group of people is a great primary source to see a new perspective because you get to see not only the way that the person in the account sees an event but also the way the newspaper portrays that person. The way that a newspaper portrays an event or person could be an indication of the way people liked to read the news and can show what kind of stories sell. In my Murder in American History class last semester we examined the way newspapers portrayed a murder of a woman in a brothel and how that murder which was not super uncommon became wildly popular in the American Culture. Things that newspapers publish have a huge impact on the societal times.
“Jewish Refugee Children Arrive.” The Evening Telegraph and Post (Dundee, Scotland ), December 2, 1938, Issue 19351, British Library Newspapers
Word count: 521