02 October 2006

Children of the Kindertransport

The new Kindertransport memorial was unveiled at Liverpool Street station on Friday. Sadly I didn't have my camera with me until today. It replaces the previous memorial which sadly failed to protect the memorabilia it contained. The new memorial lacks the poignancy of its predecessor but it will last longer. Now if people can refrain from leaving coffee cups and food wrappers on it I will be happy.


roman said...

In the first picture, top left, inside the doorway... Could it be?
The MacDonald's golden arches? Say it is'nt so! Not in historic London. My heart just sank.

jams o donnell said...

Sadly so, Roman, they are all over London like a fast food pox. Not far away is a Burger King and a Starbucks.. Hiho!

Bob said...

I hope you have had a chance to see "Nicholas Winton: The Power of Good," a video about an Englishman who rescued 669 Czech children. The final train was set to leave Czechoslovakia on 1 September 1940. None of the children for that last transport survived the war.

And regarding your comment to my kissing cactus: So the masochist says to the sadist, "Beat me! Beat me!" And the sadist says, "No." I agree that it is not a very appealing kiss -- closer to that of a lamprey eel than a lovely woman.

jams o donnell said...

The Prague train was a terrible tragedy. The kindertransport has a local connection too. Bill Barazetti who worked at the Prague end lived locally until his death a few years ago. I am still not sure if the local council have any plans to commemorate him in any way.

I suppose it depends on how desperate you are. Some might look at the cactus and think "a mouth's, a mouth!"

CC said...

It's a riveting story, and I'm glad to see a proper commemoration of these events. Perhaps, it will remind people of past atrocities and the undying threat of it all happening again. Only this time, with the new incarnation of Nazism who target everybody different from them to either convert or be killed.

The litter thing is out of hand here too. I've taken the kids to different venues around here like The Alamo and the Port Of Houston, only to find it polluted by inconsiderate people.

On the last remark, I used to work with a guy who wasn't too selective in his dating option, often going for the least desirable he could find. We used to tease him about it, only to have him shrug and say, "Meh. A hole is a hole." Such a sweet and gentle soul was he.

jams o donnell said...

It is good to see people take notice of the memorial. when I have passed it there have been people looking at it, reading the plaque and generally seeming interested. One or two arseholes have left their crap on the memorial.. I suppose with a McDonalds, a Burger King and numerous coffee and sandwich bars it is no surprise I suppose.

What a charming guy.. i daresay he would be the sort to say something equally charming as "Why look at teh mantlepiece when you're poking the fire".. and they say romance is dead!

Anonymous said...

my grandad was Bill Barazetti. I stumbled across your blog and I just wanted to say how refreshing it is to see an interest in what happened(Sado- Masochistic comments aside).

Grandad never spoke about the war and in truth the first we found out about it was when the Yad Vashem in Israel invited us to a ceremony.

Afterwards said to me "I didn't do anything special, I just did what any man would do." He didn't believe he should receive any recognition, he just believed he did the right thing.

He was a great man and I'm proud to have him as my grandad.

I know tapes exist somewhere of his experiences, I saw a few minutes of one where he was crying as he described the trauma of the parents handing over their children to be taken to safety.

I can't even begin to imagine what it must of been like to live through the war. Let alone part with your children whom you know you're never going to see again.

Ultimately I just knew him as my grandad whom I still miss to this day.

Thank you for even thinking the local council should commemorate him. It's a sweet thought, though I reckon he wouldn't want the bother.


Nathalie Barazetti- Harris

jams o donnell said...

Thank you very much for your kind comment Nathalie (forgive the banter with regular commenters!)

What your grandfather was great. there is no other description - It was an act that saved many children who would have been slaughtered in the Nazi extermination camps.

I find the self effacement of your grandfather, Sir Nicholas Winotn and the many others of their generation refreshing ( friend's father who was decorated during WWII for bravery would swear blind his medal was won for making the officers's tea!).

It reminds me of the goodness of the human spirit, a trait which is all too often overshadowed by evil.

I only hope that should I eever be tested in such a way, I would do the right thing too.

Local street names commemorate WWI and WWII flyers, Sanders Draper school bears the name of a hero, Oglethorpe school the name of the founder of Georgia.. a road or a school named after your grandfather would be a fitting memorial to a great man.

Anonymous said...

In the interests of accuracy, it should be pointed out that it was not Barazetti who ran the Winton kindertransport operation in Prague. It was Trevor Chadwick. It is unclear how this fabrication, which seems to have started in Barazetti's Times obituary,came about. The true story is well told in Vera Gissing's book (and elsewhere) Nicholas Winton and the Rescued Generation. As Winton himself says about Chadwick's efforts with the kindertransports, "No one else could have done it."

jams o donnell said...

You've made your point