Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

My Knees Were Jumping: Rembering the Kindertransports


In 1938 a lot of Jews in Europe could see the way things were going. Some got out, many tried, but couldn’t find a country that would take them, since Germany and Austria wouldn’t let them take any money with them so they’d arrive penniless … and let’s face it, they were, well, Jews. But after kristallnacht the British agreed to accept some children. No adults. (The US and Canada didn’t accept anybody at all.) Thus the kindertransports were organized. About 10,000 children got out. Families were torn apart, 90% of them never reunited. This is a film about those children, and their children, and their grandchildren, made by the daughter of one of them.

They recognize they were the “lucky” ones. In other words, they were simply shattered, rather than exterminated. Sad world, when that’s “lucky.” Sad world all around. What have we learned since then? Jack shit, apparently. I could reel off the list of horrors since then, but you’ve heard it all before. Right now, 2004, it’s happening again in Sudan. We’re horrified. A few years from now we’ll all be regretting it. “How could this have happened?” we’ll ask. “Why were we just a little too late … again?

And what are we going to do about it the next time?

Jack shit.