Kindertransport Comes to BTJ
Sisters Bertha Leverton(r) and Inge Sadan(l)were just children in 1939 when they escaped Nazi-controlled Munich, Germany to find refuge in the United Kingdom. The two sisters were among the 9,500 children from Germany and Austria who left their parents to join the “Kindertransport” to freedom. “I was several years younger than you are today, when I said good-bye to my parents and boarded a train all alone to England,” Inge Sadan told a group of seventh graders from Boys Town Jerusalem. “We struggled very hard to live and work in England during the War, frightened and alone throughout the nightmare of wartime Europe and its aftermath.”
The eyewitness account by Mrs. Leverton and Mrs. Sadan, both in their 80s and now living in Israel, was arranged in conjunction with Boys Town Jerusalem’s commemoration of “Yom HaShoah,” the Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Day. Mrs. Leverton gained fame in 1988 when she established the first international organization of Kindertransport participants, bringing the events of this nine-month rescue operation to the world’s attention, 50 years later. In 2005, Queen Elizabeth II granted Bertha Leverton the MBE British Empire Award for her “services to the Jewish community.” Both sisters have lectured extensively and published books on the life stories of the Kindertransport youngsters, most of whom never saw their parents again. During their visit to Boys Town Jerusalem, the two sisters donated a copy of one of their books to the school library, where it now has a long waiting list among the young Israeli students fascinated by the personal account they were privileged to hear.