Harwich and the Kindertransport

  • Sun 6 Feb 22

    10:00 - 13:00

  • Off Campus

    Harwich Museum

  • Event type

    Arts, culture and performances
    Holocaust Memorial Week

  • Event organiser

    Corporate events

  • Contact details

    Holly Ward


Harwich and the Kindertransport

Staff and students from the University of Essex are invited to visit the Harwich Museum to hear more about the role of the Port of Harwich, just 13 miles from Colchester, in the Kindertransport and to find out more about the Harwich Museum.

Mike Levy, Author and Chair of The Harwich Kindertransport Memorial and Learning Trust will give a talk on ‘Harwich and the Kindertransport’ and you will have a chance to ask your questions. David Whittle, Curator, will tell us more about the Harwich Museum and Nigel Spencer DL, Founder and ViceChair of The Harwich Kindertransport Memorial and Learning Trust will tell us more about this fascinating project to create a new memorial statue and a supporting educational programme in Harwich.

The visit will finish with a short walk to the site of the new memorial.

Transport will be provided from our Colchester Campus to Harwich and return at the end of the visit and transport can be arranged for students and staff who would like to take part in the visit from/to our Southend and Loughton campuses. Refreshments will be provided. 
Please register for this visit Eventbrite as numbers are strictly limited. 

Mike Levy, author of 'Get the Children Out! Unsung heroes of the Kindertransport' tells the story of Harwich and the Kindertransport.  

Harwich and the Kindertransport

In the early hours of the morning of 2 December 1938, the ferry from the Hook of Holland docked in Parkeston Quay not far from this museum. Among the passengers were 200 mostly Jewish children from Germany, none had parents with them. This was the first landing of the ‘Kindertransport’ – a unique rescue mission to try to save children from Nazi persecution.  

The children were taken to the nearby Warners Holiday Camp at Dovercourt Bay where they would be cared for until foster parents or hostels could be found for them. On arrival the children saw two things they had never seen before: a double decker bus and a smiling policeman.  
The group of 200, mostly from children’s homes, were the vanguard for around 10,000 children who were brought to safety in Britain between that first arrival and the outbreak of war. The majority of them arrived near here, in the port of Harwich. Most stayed in this country throughout the war years, many never saw their families again. Their parents and siblings became victims of the Holocaust.  

Harwich played a major role in the rescue of these 10,000 children. Local people volunteered to make the children feel at home even though the winter of 1938/9 was one of the coldest on record. Many opened their doors and their hearts to these children. For so many children, arriving in Harwich was their first sight of freedom.  

Get the Children Out – Unsung Heroes of the Kindertransport by Mike Levy

If you are interested in this visit, you may also be interested in the new book by Mike Levy – ‘Get the Children Out – Unsung Heroes of the Kindertransport’ which will be published on 27 January.  Find out more