Hans Schwarz, aged 16

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Description:After Hitler’s rise to power in Germany, British relief agencies were concerned about the fate of Jewish children. The British Government was reluctant to allow too many Jewish refugees to enter Britain but after the violence of the Kristallnacht pogroms of 9-10 November 1938 they were persuaded to let in Jewish children under the age of 17 from Germany, Austria, Poland and Czechoslovakia. This became known as the Kindertransport.

The first sealed train left Germany on 1 December 1938. British Quakers were heavily involved in all stages of the Kindertransport alongside Jewish and other Christian organisations. The Quakers organised permits and homes for children, and they accompanied them on the long train journey from Europe. By the time the last transport left on 1 September 1939 nearly 10,000 children had arrived in the UK on temporary travel passes. At the end of the war many of the children had lost parents and families in the concentration camps and could not return to their countries of origin.

Hans Schwarz was born into a Jewish family in Vienna in 1922. From the age of 14 he was a pupil at the Vienna School of Art but had to leave his course after Germany annexed Austria in May 1938.