Fitting neatly into primary-classroom units about World War II and the Holocaust, a broad if dispassionate overview of the privately funded evacuation of 10,000 European children in the months before the war’s formal start.
Despite an introduction and frequent boxed comments or memories from eight still-living participants—plus repeated mention of the Talmudic saying that “Whoever saves one life saves the world entire”—Hodge’s account is more matter-of-fact than suspenseful or even particularly immediate. She sketches in Germany’s history from Hitler’s rise to Kristallnacht, noting the reluctance of other national governments to take German refugees, particularly Jewish ones. The author goes on to describe in general how the Refugee Children’s Movement in Britain and related individual efforts brought trainloads of children from 3-month- to 16-year-olds out of several countries to Great Britain (and, she notes only in passing, possibly to havens in other countries too). Though even sketchier in covering the refugees’ experiences settling in during and after the war, she does also bring their stories up to modern reunions and commemorations. Then-and-now portraits of her eight survivors, with a mix of period photos and paintings by Kind artist Hans Jackson, provide plenty of visual witness to those dangerous times and the children caught in them.
A quick but systematic overview, well-endowed with both visual and documentary supporting material. (map, biographies, timeline, multimedia resource lists) (Nonfiction. 10-12)