Letters from Children on the First KindertransportView Fullscreen
Frl. F. D., Hamburg.
My dear Fanny,
From this marvellous country, where everything with us is going wonderfully, I am sending you many, many happy birthday kisses. Give my best to all your other colleagues. Irma Lizzy Erna.
Hr. C. Z., Hamburg.
My dear Peter,
From beautiful Holland your Mutti sends you a thousand good wishes. Are you better now? We are very well here. Much love and kisses to Granny and you from your Mutti.
Hr. S. L., Oldenburg.
My beloved Parents,
We are being received splendidly in Holland. We were given every kindness, everything that you could think of, as you can imagine. Like princes. So farewell! I am terribly glad. Love and kisses, Jan. Forgive the writing, I am writing on the train on the journey to Rotterdam. Your faithful son Jan.
Hr. D. I., Lübeck.
We have safely crossed the border. My suitcase has not been opened. In Oldenzaal we were received splendidly, we were given hot food and soda. Even the press was there, we were photographed. I am writing against the wall, hence the scrawl. At 12 o'clock we travel from the Hook. Much love and kisses Werner. Harry sends much love.
Hr. H. A., Bremen.
I am on the way to the Hook of Holland. We have left German soil and in Holland have been received most particularly well, with food and drink, photos etc. We are staying to start with in Harwich in a camp. We are here with children from all over Germany. At all the railway stations we were received enthusiastically. Love and a kiss Bernd.
Hr. B. I., Lübeck.
The post is cheap, so I am writing already. The journey was splendid. We were cheerful and jolly. We have also already made acquaintances. The reception in Holland was excellent and the provisions first-rate. Greetings to everyone please, and particularly Helga, who I had almost forgotten. All the provisions are strictly kosher. I have hardly eaten any of my own rations. Now much love and kisses Kurt. Forgive the bad writing.
R. K., Bremen.
Dear Tanten [Aunts],
Tonight we are travelling to Harwich. How are you? I hope you are [well] my dears. The reception in Holland [is] indescribable. Chocolate, food. I don't know what the reception in England will be like. I have got from Herr K. a book, an alarm clock, a dictionary, a book about Bremen in four languages. Please forgive my writing, the train is jolting so much. So, much love and kisses to Tante Betti, Tante Fritze, Ilse, Hugo and Hans. Walter sends much love and kisses.
The R. brothers and sisters, Oldenburg.
My dear brothers and sisters,
We have safely crossed the border. The reception was simply first-rate. The ladies from the community handed out food, French beans and beef. We were given chocolate at another station. Everywhere we were received with hellos. We are all very jolly. Maxi too. What have the dear parents written? Send the card to our dear parents. Love and ten thousand kisses from your loving Giska. All my love Hans. Much love Jan.
Frau A. E., Hamburg.
Dear little Mu,
I am sitting here on the train to Rotterdam. It is really awfully nice so far. We are only nice people here, and it is so comradely and nice. The customs stories worked brilliantly. Now we are travelling through Holland at the moment. I cannot describe to you what the people are like. We are received at every station with cries of hurrah and joy and are always sent something else. Sodas, hot food, a bar of chocolate, an apple for each. One simply can't understand it any more. The newspaper sellers and porters and many, many people wave and welcome. We are always being photographed, we are having a good time, do not worry. Herr K. is here on the train. Liesel.
Frl. A. S., Hamburg.
Now a large part is already behind us. We are all happy; the reception is really amazingly friendly. Hot and cold food is served continually. We talk a lot about you and Marga. (At any rate we are of very different opinions about Marga, but are you surprised after the last letter?) I have brought the picture for you today to be developed, it will be sent to you. Your little brother Hans. Dear Anneli, I send all my very best to you from this beautiful country.
Frau M. K., Berlin.
My dear Mutti,
I am now writing on the train. We will be there in 25 minutes. Oh, it is marvellous! At the first Dutch station we were awaited by Jewish and other people and were given wonderful food. Helga and I are happy. I could kiss the people here. Just be happy. Hopefully Pappi [Daddy] is coming, then my happiness will be complete. Please forgive the writing, it is swaying so badly. A long letter soon. Love and 100,000,000,000 kisses, your delighted Inge. Dear Mutti, love and a kiss, your Helga. Letter follows!
Frau A. S., Hamburg.
We have done very well here. We are sitting here in a second-class carriage. I have been travelling well so far. Immediately after the border we were given hot food and also sodas as well. At every railway station we were given chocolate and cakes. At the we are supposed to be photographed. I will write again soon. Much love to all. H.
Herr R. S., Berlin.
The first part of the journey is already over. In half an hour we will be at the Hook of Holland. At one station behind the border we were given hot food and fizzy lemonade. We were very nicely received at every station. From England I will write you a long letter about the journey. I have also written to the boys of the RWH on the train. Love from me to all our relatives, mainly Peter. Much love and kisses, your son Werner.
Frau E. P., Berlin.
Dear Mutti and all my dears,
In half an hour we will be at the final stop, the Hook of Holland, to board the ship. I will write to you straightaway in England. The journey will be wonderful, give everyone my love, follow soon. Much love and kisses, your loving Lielo. Pass on my best to all acquaintances.
Frau M. G., Berlin.
I am in Holland. We were received in Bentheim with jubilation. I am very happy. Please forgive the writing because it is swaying so much. We are soon going onto the steamer. What are you all doing? Are you still crying? Please send best wishes to all acquaintances, particularly...
Frau G. R., Altona.
Dear Mutti and dear Tante Olly, Onkel [Uncle] Albert and Edgar,
We are now in Holland and I can scarcely describe the way we have been received. There was cabbage with mutton (in Bentheim), then soda. I am travelling with a very nice bunch in the compartment and we are very jolly. To us each Hollander is touching. Have you received the first card that I sent in the Weidenallee? We are almost at the Hook of Holland and travel on from there by ship. Is Onkel Fritz already there? In my compartment travelling with us is another very religious boy. We are all happy that everything is behind us. Hopefully it stays this good. I am sending the card to you, because I do not know whether Mutti will receive it in the Weidenallee. Much love and kisses to all, with love, your ... Good shabbos [Sabbath].
A. M., Berlin.
The journey is very beautiful. In Holland we have had a marvellous reception. We were very well fed, I will write particulars later. We are boarding the ship soon. All of us here have made friends beautifully. I am writing on the train and it is swaying a lot. We are getting off soon. Now it is 8.12 in the evening [and] I am writing to you. The region is incredible. In [a] couple of minutes we will be in Rotterdam. You will soon receive a long report from me to listen to. Now [we have] arrived in Rotterdam and are being snapped for the press. Everything is marvellous. Much love to all. Your...
Herr A. P., Berlin.
At this moment the train is stopping in Rotterdam. It is going on to the Hook of Holland now. Then by ship to London! I am happy. Hopefully you too will soon be happy. Love Edmund.
Frau M. St., Berlin.
I am letting you know here that I have travelled to Holland through Bentheim. We have been very well received in Holland and at midday were given vegetables with meat, we also were given something to drink. Card follows. Your son Harri.
A. R., Berlin.
I cannot write very well and clearly as the train is rocking dreadfully. We will soon be in Rotterdam. The reception in Holland was touching. We were taken in a ... to the railway station. There were vegetables and then also a roast and lemonade. I write to you...
M. L., Perleberg.
Soon we will be in Rotterdam. Then comes Hook of Holland. I have put the watch back one hour. Have met Herr P. and the orphanage on the train. More from England. Much love...
J. L., Hamburg.
Dear Parents and Brothers and Sisters,
We have arrived in Holland, are now travelling on to England. With love and a kiss...
Frau R. M., Hamburg.
Dear little Mutsch [Mum]
We have now been over the border for a long time, next station "Rotterdam". In Bentheim we were fed wonderfully, vegetables, meat, soda, fruit, bread, cakes. It was so beautiful I could have cried. We shouted and organised a chant. Simply marvellous. One station after Bentheim we were fed chocolate by people, another din. It is too beautiful to describe. The train jolts damnably! Love and 1,000 kisses your...
E. J. Family, Bremen.
My dear J. family,
I did not have the chance to telephone you as we arrived in Hamburg very late. I spent the night in Hamburg in the hostel with three old ladies, and the ladies laughed and sang so much that I did not sleep all night. This morning we set off and met the people from Berlin in Osnabrück. We have [been] friendly received in Holland, and Frau M. and daughter greeted us. It is quite superb on the journey, we have a great deal of fun, in three hours we are going onto the ship. I would like to say a big thank you again to you, dear Frau J., for everything that I have learned from you. Please forgive me for writing so badly, but the train is swaying a lot. I will write to you again from England. Much love for...
Frau H. G., Lübeck.
We are already on the way to Rotterdam. In Holland we have been very well received. At the border we were given a hot midday meal. Otherwise we are very merry and quite jolly, H. sends warm greeting and a kiss. Much love Werner.
Frau H. H., Wilhelmshaven.
Dear Mutti and Opa [Grandpa],
Now it is evening and many children are writing. We were wonderfully received in Holland. We received quite a lot. First there was meat with ..., then lemonade, chocolate. In an hour we are going by ship to England. From E. I will write all about it in a letter to you. My writing is very bad. Much love and kisses your Inge.
Herr Dr. M. Z., Hamburg.
So far everything has gone very well. Whether I will meet D., I do not know, I do not know whether we are going via The Hague. We are very jolly. Much love Hansl. All my love Elisabeth. We are ... fine!
Herr J. W., Berlin-Spandau.
Have been well received in Holland. The people are very good. We were given a midday meal and soda from the Dutch. They are pleased with us. Soon be at the coast. It is 7.30 in the evening. I am writing very badly here. Will write more. It is just a note from me. We are all here. Love your son Horst.
Herr Dr. J., Hamburg - Othmarschen
My dear Parents,
We are already in Holland where we have been delightfully and marvellously looked after. The people behave touchingly. We were also photographed. If I receive the newspaper, you will receive a picture. Everything is too beautiful. We think of you a lot. This is just another sign of life which you see shows how magnificently things are going for us. Lots and lots of love, 100 kisses your Pitt. We are very jolly and have been singing. My very best Werner.
Frau R. E., Altona
We have been well received so far. Everything is in order. The children are happy and jolly. Your little Falck is sweet. Happy birthday and best wishes. All my love, your Toni, Lizzy. All my very best wishes, we are fine, your Erna. Happy birthday, all the best. It is beautiful here. Irma.
Herr K. S., Kloppenburg.
Before boarding the steamer for England. My dear unfortunate people. According to Dutch time it is quarter past 6. You will be astonished that we are writing again already, but we have not stopped being astonished either. Scarcely were we in Holland, the train stopped there and women brought vegetables, and can you imagine how it tasted. That was not all, there was sparkling water, chocolate, baskets full of bread rolls and apples. In every station there are sweets, and all the Dutch are coming with us to the ship. Forgive me for scribbling. At one o'clock tonight we are going onto the ship. Unfortunately you cannot see how well things are with us. In haste your Ruth. Soon going on the sea, so just much love and kisses your loving Hildegard.
Herr A. R., Bunde.
We are here in Rotterdam and as we have been given more cards, just want to write to you. Today Thursday at 9.45 we left Hamburg. When we arrived in Oldenzaal we were given vegetables with meat and a drink. You will not believe how that tasted to us. At every station we were given something. We were very pleased. Soon will be going on the sea. Now will end. Much love and kisses, Hildegard.
Herren of the Paulinenstift [Pauline Foundation Girls' Orphanage], Hamburg.
My dear Sirs,
We are at the moment on the train right across Holland. At the first Dutch station we were heartily received. Women arrived with huge pots, plates and forks. We were given vegetables with kosher meat, tasted marvellous. At every later station we were given something else, everyone an apple, bread roll and a bar of chocolate. Our watches have already all been changed to Dutch time. Edith's brothers and sisters have already visited us. Your Gerda sends much love for everyone, especially for G. Love and a kiss Oavideljus. It is a good start. Everything is fine. Love Ilse. Much love from Wolff. Love Lilly and Margit, Love Clärchen and Eva.
Frl. E. R., Hamburg.
Dear Fräulein R,
The train is swaying a lot. The Dutch have looked after us so well that straightaway I have already gained a real desire once more to go to England, for I think that it will be like this there too. We have been photographed three times by the press. In Holland there was first-rate food, even meat. We are all first-rate. The journey goes forward very well with musical instruments. Everyone sends much love. Love to everyone. P.S. But all my very best love to you and Ger from your Davicde.
Frau M. Z., Oldenburg.
It is 8 o'clock and we [have] just arrived in Rotterdam. It is marvellous. As soon as we were in Holland, we were given hot food and juice. Frau M. from Bremen was also there with her daughter, and she sends you much love. At every station we were given something. We already have lots of friends, girls and boys, who we all met by visiting. Greetings Love to everybody who asks after us. Hans is always going for walks with his friends and is very well-behaved. I already knew his friends from Wilhelminenhöhe. Much love...
Israelitisches Waisenhaus [Jewish Orphanage], Hanover.
How are you? I am on the way to England. We are nearly at Rotterdam. At midnight we are going on the ship... That was an accident, the train went round a bend. I will send my address from England. So once again, sending you all my love from your Fritz.
Frau J. G., Berlin.
My dear Mutti,
I am writing to you from Rotterdam. Another half an hour and we are travelling in the ship. We were received very kindly in Holland and were given food there. I will shortly write you a detailed letter. I am well and cheerful. Love to everyone from me, Tante Erna, Fr., and others and everyone else I know. Kisses from Röschen.
S. B. Family, Frankfurt (Oder).
Safely arrived in Holland. G. is very jolly. We are about to go on the ship. In Holland we were given lunch, soda and chocolate. Now all my very very best love and kisses from your L.
M. M. Family, Leipzig.
Have just left Rotterdam, we were terribly nicely received everywhere in Holland, fed in Oldenzaal. Are about 22 children Ben[t]heim, could not bring photo, because bought from beginning of November, cannot write well as on train, Much love and kisses Edgar. Travelling via Hook of Holland to Harwich (England). Must be quick as we are nearly there.
Herr N., Berlin.
Dear Herr and Frau N.,
Hopefully you are well. When you get this card, I will be in England. Love to everyone, much love, Ursula G.
Frl. M. F., Berlin.
Dear M. and Herr Fr.,
We are coming into Rotterdam at the moment. According to English time it is now 8 o'clock. Onkel Alexander was at the Schles.Bahnh. Tomorrow morning the ship will dock in England. More soon. Thank you very much for everything and much love from your Edmund. I feel as I have not felt for a long time. Love to Frau G.
Frau Else P., Hamburg.
My dear Else, dear children,
The journey was very beautiful, [we] were received everywhere very attentively. We are nearly in Rotterdam. Herr and Frau K. are very kind and are travelling with us. Much love and kisses your husband and father. Much love to comrades at home.
Frau K. W., Berlin.
Now we are about to change over to the ship, we are already looking forward to the cold sea journey, and when you receive the card, the voyage will already be over. So, dear Mama, no more regrets. In Holland we were received very well. Hot food, lemonade, sweet buns and chocolate, and the attention was excellent, simply superb. More details in the next letter. Things are really superb with me. I must end because I must get dressed for the voyage. I still have almost all of the food. Much love and kisses from Else.
Sent by Herr Flörsheim, Amsterdam
Transcripts of letters from children who travelled from Germany through Holland to England on 1st December 1938.