Memories of children who spent the war as refugees

Paul Mackin, Rabbi Lody and his wife Chani
Paul Mackin, Rabbi Lody and his wife Chani

Memories of a Jewish evacuation were relived with a visit from Dutch students.

Rabbi Lody van de Kamp, a well known Dutch author and expert on Jewish affairs, visited Shefford at the start of the month.

He was leading a group of Dutch students who are studying the routes taken by Jewish refugee children in the 1939 Kindertransport Project.

Jewish children from all over Europe were being evacuated to avoid persecution by the Nazi regime. Some ten thousand children were uprooted,

Shefford and the surrounding communities received 500 children, all young, all very orthodox in upbringing, many not speaking English. However the people of Shefford opened their homes to the children.

There are many stories about how the children and the people of Shefford altered their ways of life to accommodate each other’s needs and customs.

Sheffordians, including mayor Paul Mackin, met with the visitors, who were able to speak to members of the families who fostered the children.

There was also a large collection of photos to view.

Rabbi Lody unveiled a commemorative plaque, which will put in the entrance hall of Shefford House.