How do we remember the Kindertransport, and why? How does British memory of this event compare with memory in other English-speaking host nations who took in German Jewish refugees?
In this online event Amy Williams and Bill Niven will explore how the Kindertransport has been remembered in Britain, and compare British memory of this event with memory in the other English-speaking host nations which took in the refugee children (Kinder), namely America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
They will also compare memory of the Kindertransport in Britain with that in Germany and Austria. ‘Kindertransport’ is understood here as referring not just to the actual rescue of children with mainly Jewish origins from Nazism that took place between 1938 and 1940, but also the effects it had, such as transplantation to strange environments. Any comparison of the various home and host countries must consider the degree to which memory of the Kindertransport is not uniform, and the extent to which it is shaped by factors such as the role of these countries in the Second World War, and – above all – nationally conditioned memory discourses.
Increasingly, according to memory scholars, Holocaust memory operates in a transnational, even global network. The webinar will assess this expectation against the empirical evidence. Is it more the case that the home and host nations remember the Kindertransport in essentially national terms, even where they are aware of its transnational history? Our talk will address this question.
Professor Bill Niven is a professor in Contemporary German History at Nottingham Trent University. He works on the relationship between culture, politics and memory in Germany and Europe. Bill’s research areas include National Socialism, Hitler, the memory of the Third Reich, the history and memory of East Germany, 20th century German film and literature, and memorials and memorialisation in the 20th and 21st centuries. He supervises a range of MA and PhD researchers on related topics. Bill is a founding member of the academic advisory board at the National Holocaust Centre and Museum.
Amy Williams recently completed her PhD at Nottingham Trent University with a thesis titled ‘The Memory of the Kindertransport in National and Transnational Perspectives’. Amy’s research is the first comprehensive examination of the different national and transnational memories of the Kindertransport covering how the different host nations received the Kindertransportees and integrated them, and how the memories of the transportees and the nations’ memories of the Kindertransport developed. She is now a research assistant at Nottingham Trent University.
To join this webinar please book your place via the link above. Booking is free but essential.
Before the event we will email you the webinar guidelines and an invitation to the join the Zoom meeting. Please ensure you are in a quiet place with a good wifi connection. The session will begin promptly at 3.00pm and will last approximately 90 minutes. Attendees will be able to ask questions through the webinar chat facility, which will be moderated by the host. So that we can manage the webinar effectively, attendees will remain muted throughout.