Topic: World History / 20th Century

Don't Wave Goodbye
The Children's Flight from Nazi Persecution to American Freedom
Philip K. Jason and Iris Posner, Editors

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Philip K. Jason and Iris Posner, Editors

Don't Wave Goodbye

The Children's Flight from Nazi Persecution to American Freedom

Philip K. Jason and Iris Posner, Editors Philip K. Jason and Iris Posner, Editors

June 2004


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The unknown story of the successful American rescue of approximately 1,000 children from the Holocaust is told in the words of the children and their rescuers.

Sent across the ocean by their parents and taken in by foster parents and distant relatives, approximately 1,000 children, ranging in age from fourteen months to sixteen years, landed in the United States and out of Hitler's reach between 1934 and 1945. Seventy years after the first ship brought a handful of these children to American shores, the general public and many of the children themselves remain unaware of these rescues, and the fact that they were accomplished despite powerful forces in and outside the government that did not want them to occur. This is the first published account, told in the words of the children and their rescuers, to detail this unknown part of America's response to the Holocaust. It will challenge the belief that Americans did nothing to directly and actively save Holocaust victims.

Judith Tydor Baumel, Holocaust scholar and sister of two rescued children, provides an introduction explaining why, when, how, and where the rescues were carried out, who the heroes and heroines were, and which individuals and organizations placed almost insurmountable obstacles in their path. This account presents both recollections and experiences recorded at the time of the rescued children, their descendants, and their rescuers. The story demonstrates what a small group of determined people can do to change the course of history.
Introduction by Judith Tydor Baumel
In Short by Henry Schuster, Trudy Kirchhausen Turkel, and Jack Steinberger
Trepidations by Manfred Steinfeld, Kurt Admon, Martin Birn, and Henny Wenkart
Paths of Escape by Ruth Safrin Finkelstein, Lea Wasserman Schwarz, Camilla Maas, Michel Margosis, Richard Schifter, Henny Wenkart, Morris C. Troper, Albert Einstein, and Howard Wriggins
Coming to America by Manfred Goldwein, Ilse Hamburger Phillips, Ruth Schnitzer, Lea Wasserman Schwarz, and Walter Kron
Transitions by Henry Birnbrey, Charles Juliusburg, Martin Birn, Bill Graham, Gabrielle Kaufmann Koppel, and Thea Lindauer
Becoming an American by Phyllis Mattson, Ruth Schnitzer, Bill Graham, and Arnold Isaak
Full Circle by Charles Juliusburg, Arnold Isaak, Ben Hirsh, Fern Schumer Chapman, Rose Marie Phillips Wagman, and Phyllis Mattson
Afterword by Richard Schifter
This collection of selected primary sources showcases the stories of several of the so-called one thousand children-children brought to the United States between 1934 and 1945 in response to Hitler's policies of genocide....this excellent study is recommended for both public and academic libraries with Holocaust collections.—Library Journal

Sent across the ocean by their parents and taken in by foster parents and distant relatives, approximately 1,000 children, ranging in age from 14 months to 16 years, landed in the United States and out of Hitler's reach between 1934 and 1945. This account details this mostly unknown part of America's response to the Holocaust.—Shofar

Adolescents through early college age are targeted readers of these first-person recollections. Apparently, nothing has been written about this children's rescue operation. Researchers and general readers certainly will find it absorbing and useful.—Jewish Book World

This is an interesting and timely compilation focusing on how American Jewish and Gentile organizations and individuals, overcoming strong impediments generated by opponents of new immigrants, rescued over 1,000 children (ages 14 months through 16 years) from Nazi Germany and resettled them in America during World War II....[t]his volume is certainly a welcome addition to the literature on Holocaust survivors, and is recommended as such to interested libraries and researchers.—MultiCultural Review

While Britains efforts to save young people of Jewish heritage from the Nazis have been documented, both in print and on film, this book presents the memories of those whose Kindertransport experiences led them to America by the One Thousand Children project. The book consists primarily of excerpts from memoirs and letters written by the children whose parents sent them from Germany and Austria, often by circuitous routes, to Jewish foster families across the United States. They present moving first-hand, child-centered views of life in the small towns of central Europe in the 1930s, the terror of Kristallnacht, the tearing apart of families for the sake of young lives, and life in wartime America as a young refugee....This is a valuable addition to high school Holocaust collections. Recommended.—Library Media Connection

^IDon't Wave Goodbye^R puts a personal face on the little-known Holocaust rescue story of just over one thousand unaccompanied children by private American organizations and individuals. These first-hand accounts honor the children, their parents, rescuers, and descendents and ensure the preservation of their story for future generations.—Deborah Oppenheimer^LProducer, ^IInto the Arms of Strangers^R

It is an authentic and very moving account of those lucky enough to survive. It should be widely read.—Walter Laqueur^Lauthor of ^IGeneration Exodus^R

On the broadest level, ^IDon't Wave Goodbye^R chronicles a dramatic moment in American history when Jewish and Quaker Americans worked together successfully to rescue children from the Nazi threat. The cooperation between the two communities is a rare instance of ideologies uniting rather than dividing in times of crisis. At the same time, the stories themselves remind us that the challenges facing these children did not end when they left Germany. The variety of their experiences in America testifies to the challenges of survival in a new land, a new language, and new families. By documenting the stories of these children, ^IDon't Wave Goodbye^R reminds us of the flexibility of their spirit when it seemed the world at large had lost sight of that very same thing.—Gwen Goodman,^LExecutive Director/CEO^LNational Museum of American Jewish History

[A] moving and insightful book, that gives a voice to this hidden chapter of our history. A voice I have been hearing my whole life since my Aunt was one of the 'One Thousand Children.' Her story and the story of other ordinary people in extraordinary situations, that you have brilliantly captured, has inspired me and should everyone else who reads this important chronicle.—Tommy Schlamme,^LDirector, The West Wing

A riveting book with stories that must be told--stories of personal sacrifice and courage, possibility and hope in the face of unspeakable cruelty. The National Council of Jewish Women is proud to have played a major role in the rescue of the 1000 children.—Marsha Atkind,^LPresident, NCJW, Inc.