Kindertransport Museum to Reopen in Vienna at the Urania

Kindertransport statue, Liverpool Station

By Anna Breuer on 23 October 2018
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Vienna’s Kindertransport Museum will reopen after a move. Its new home is the Urania, which was opened in 1910 by Kaiser Franz Joseph I as an educational facility that included a public observatory and cinema and is located at the foot of the Wien river in the city’s first district.

The museum tells the story of the children of the Kindertransport who left Vienna in 1938 and 1939 to go to England. An act of Parliament allowed 10,000 Jewish children from Germany and Austria to enter the United Kingdom following Kristallnacht. It uses 23 poignant photographs of possessions the children took with them when they left, including photographs, dolls, ice skates, books, clothing, and other small items including mementos of home.

The children left Vienna from the Westbahnhof, where a statue commemorating the Kindertransport has been erected, and traveled by train through Austria, which had via the Anschluß been annexed into Germany, and Germany. When they crossed the German-Dutch border, they were greeted by the Dutch with hot chocolate and food. The children continued to a British Port – in most instances Harwich – crossing the channel from the Hook of Holland near Rotterdam. Most of the children continued to Liverpool Street Station in London, where they were met by their foster parents. There is a status in Liverpool Street Station with five children and their suitcases in commemoration

There were 12 Kindertransports from Vienna and most left in the middle of the night.
The museum first opened in 2014 on the Radetzkystraße, in a building that was used to house Jewish families before deportation.

S. Franklin Spira, the father of FBT Editorial Director Jonathan Spira, left Vienna in 1939 via a Kindertransport.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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