Memories on the Border: the Kindertransport and Lower Silesia

When: November 8, 2021 @19:00-20:30

Where: Kloster St. Marienthal, Ostritz

Memories on the Border: The Kindertransport and Lower Silesia is an event that will shine light on the lives of those who survived as refugees to other lands and will feature a panel on the Kindertransports that saved three young Jewish Görlitzers, children from Bunzlau as well as other places in Silesia.

At the brink of WWll, the UK acted swiftly to save Jewish children from the grips of the Nazi regime while the rest of the world stood still and complacent. The Kindertransport rescue mission is the story of parents making a heartbreaking decision to save their children’s lives by sending them to strangers in a foreign land, knowing they likely would never see them again. Around 20,000 Jewish children were rescued from the National Socialists by the Kindertransport rescue mission.

It is also a story of those children surviving and creating new lives for themselves after living through an unthinkable tragedy. And now, 80 years later it is a universal story of hope and steadfast determination and one that speaks to the struggles of refugees today.

With our esteemed panel of world experts on the Kindertransport Dr. Bill Niven, Dr. Amy Williams, and Tamara Meyer (whose mother Ursula was a Görlitzer Kindertransport “Kind” receiving a Stolpersteine on November 5, 2021) we draw a link into the present: How has the Kindertransport influenced whole family histories? How are the fates of that time connected with people who are now forced to flee?

This lecture and discussion will take place in English and will be interpreted into German by a translator. The event is free of cost and open to all. Memories on the Border: The Kindertransport and Lower Silesia is part of the Tacheles Oberlausitz project – an initiative for Jewish life and against anti-Semitism .


About the panel:

Tamara Meyer

For the past two decades Tamara Meyer, child of German Jewish Holocaust survivors has been honoring her family legacy through her writing, lecturing, media relations as well as through affiliation and contributions to organizations that seek to further understanding of the Holocaust and bring about reconciliation and dialogue.

As a participant in dialogue groups in Berlin that include former Nazis, Holocaust survivors and their descendants, Tamara has experienced first- hand the extraordinary challenge of engaging with those who in another time would have been her fiercest enemies. Her experiences with Nazi/Survivor groups in Germany have led her to engage with former White Supremacists and neo-Nazis in the United States.

A child of a Kindertransport survivor, Tamara has been active in educating the public about this holocaust narrative as event planner and media coordinator for an international Kindertransport Conference in Los Angeles in 2012 attended by survivors, their families and dignitaries from around the world. For the past decade Tamara has been hosting monthly second generation Kindertransport/Holocaust gatherings in the Washington DC area and beyond.

Tamara, through her company WorkWell, LLC has taught conflict resolution and cultural diversity courses for large corporations, smaller businesses, NGOs and the public and through her work in media relations has placed stories in national and international print, cable and radio including a feature story in the Los Angeles Times. Tamara sits on the advisory board of Parents For Peace, was a panelist for Tikkun Long Island, and is a program contributor for The Holocaust Center of Florida. She is a former board member of the Kindertransport Association. Ms. Meyer can be heard on Daryl Davis’s podcast Changing Minds; davis/id1512524204?i=1000491911472

Her book “Help Your Baby Build a Healthy Body” was published by Crown Publishers in the U.S. and by Japan Uni Agency in Japan in 1984.

“Just as despair can come to one only from other human beings, hope, too can be given to one only by other human beings”. Elie Wiesel

Dr. Bill Niven

Professor Bill Niven is Professor of Modern German History at Nottingham Trent University. He focuses on the relationship between culture, politics, and memory in Germany and Europe. His research areas include National Socialism, Hitler, memory of the Third Reich, the history and memory of East Germany, 20th-century German film and literature, and memorials and memory work in the 20th and 21st centuries. He supervises a number of MA and PhD researchers on related topics. Bill is a founding member of the Academic Advisory Board of the National Holocaust Centre and Museum.

He is the author of numerous books on the Holocaust and Kindertransport. He is the author of such books as Facing the Nazi Past (2001), The Buchenwald Child (2007), and Representations of Flight and Expulsion in East German Prose Works (2014). He is editor of “Germans as Victims” (2006) and “The Wilhelm Gustloff: History and Memory of a Sinking” (2011), and co-editor (with Chloe Paver) of “Memorialization in Germany since 1945” (2010). He is also co-editor, with Stefan Berger, of two books on memory in general: “Writing the History of Memory” (2016) and “A Cultural History of Memory in the 20th Century” (forthcoming, 2020). Like Amy, Bill is considered one of the world’s leading experts on the Kindertransport.

Görlitz Kindertransport Survivor Ursula Totschek Meyer (right)
Görlitz Kindertransport Survivor Tibor Slowtowski (left) with his family: Ibolyka, Fery, & Walter Slotowski

Dr. Amy Williams

British historian Dr. Amy Williams is currently writing her first book on the Kindertransport for Mitteldeutscher Verlag and is co-authoring a book on the Kindertransport with Professor Bill Niven for Yale University Press. She is a worldwide expert on the Kindertransport. Amy has lectured and spoken around the world on the Kindertransport. Amy completed her PhD at Nottingham Trent University with a thesis on “Remembering the Kindertransport in National and Transnational Perspective.” She has curated several traveling exhibitions on the topic of Kindertransport. Amy works closely with the Kindertransport Association. Amy’s research is the first comprehensive examination of the various national and transnational memories of Kindertransport, looking at how different host countries received and integrated Kindertransport and how transporters’ memories and countries’ memories of Kindertransport have evolved. Amy recently appeared in the BBC series “Great British Railway Journeys.”

Breslau Kindertransport Survivor Werner Zorek (right) with his sister Erna Zorek

This event would not have been possible without the generous help from:

Anna Olbrich, Tacheles Oberlausitz

Sächsische Landeszentrale für politische Bildung