Commemorative bike ride from Berlin to London marks 80 years since Kindertransport

Paul Alexander arrives in London

Paul Alexander arrives in London, © dpa

25.06.2018 - Press release

To commemorate eighty years since the Kindertransport which saved 10,000 children fleeing Nazi-controlled Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland, descendants of the child refugees set out from Berlin on 17 June to retrace the 600 mile journey to London.

The Kindertransport 80 Commemorative Ride is organised by World Jewish Relief, whose predecessor organization spearheaded the unique rescue effort in the 1930s.  

The 42 cyclists started the commemorative ride on 17 June at Frank Meisler’s Kindertransport statue outside Friedrichstraße Station in Berlin heading west towards Holland. The cyclists were given a special send-off by the Vice-President of the German Bundestag Petra Pau and the Acting Special Representative for Relations with Jewish Organisations and Holocaust Remembrance at the German Foreign Office Karina Häuslmeir in Berlin alongside the British Ambassador to Germany Sir Sebastian Wood. Via Harwich the cyclists arrived at Frank Meisler’s Kindertransport memorial outside Liverpool Street Station on 22 June.

Upon their arrival in London the 42 cyclists were re-united with their families in an emotional welcome ceremony. Sir Erich Reich and Rabbi Harry Jacobi spoke official words of welcome.

Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the German Embassy in London Tania Freiin von Uslar-Gleichen congratulated the cyclists on their extraordinary achievement:

“As child refugees who came to the UK and as their descendants, you, your memories and stories but also your lives in the United Kingdom, your contribution to this country and your reaching out to us in reconciliation are the enduring legacy of the Kindertransport”.  Tania von Uslar-Gleichen continued that these stories “serve as a sober reminder that we need to remain vigilant against injustice, prejudice and tyranny in whatever form we encounter them – today, tomorrow and in years ahead.”

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