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Group portrait of members of the orphans transport in Prague prior to their departure for England.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 99559

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    Group portrait of members of the orphans transport in Prague prior to their departure for England.
    Group portrait of members of the orphans transport in Prague prior to their departure for England.

Among those pictured is Moniek Goldberg (top row, center).


    Group portrait of members of the orphans transport in Prague prior to their departure for England.

    Among those pictured is Moniek Goldberg (top row, center).
    Prague, [Bohemia] Czechoslovakia
    Variant Locale
    Czech Republic
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Moniek Joseph Goldberg
    Event History
    After the liberation of the concentration camps, the British philanthropist, Leonard Montefiore, organized a campaign to bring young survivors to Britain. In June 1945 the British Home Office approved a plan to transport one thousand orphans to Britain for recuperation before their resettlement elsewhere. The program was paid for with funds raised by the Care of Children from Concentration Camps organization that was headquartered at the Bloomsbury House in London and chaired by Montefiore. The first group of three hundred orphans was brought from Theresienstadt to Prague and then flown to England on Lancaster bombers. They arrived on August 14, 1945. Though only children below the age of sixteen qualified for the transport, the group actually included several seventeen and eighteen-year-olds who had falsified their ages on their applications. Since very few young children survived the camps, all but thirty of the orphans were over the age of twelve. After landing in England the children were housed at a hostel in Windermere, where they received religious and secular instruction and medical treatment. The second group of orphans arrived in Southampton in November 1945, followed by groups in February and March 1946. The final group of orphans left Prague in April 1946. They stayed in Taverny, France for six weeks before coming to England in June. Despite considerable effort, the program's officers never found a full one thousand orphans who qualified for admission. In all, 732 children were brought to England. Though commonly called "The Boys," the group included eighty girls. All but a dozen were completely orphaned by the war. Soon after their arrival the children were regrouped by religious and political affiliation and sent to separate hostels for the ultra-orthodox, orthodox, religious Zionists and secular Zionists. By the fall of 1946 the program was running into financial trouble. Funding was low and most of the children had no prospects for moving elsewhere as originally intended. In 1947 the orphans were informed that they had to find employment and seek their own housing arrangements. To help maintain their social network, which had become a substitute for the families they had lost, the members of the orphans transport established the Primrose Jewish Youth Club on June 6, 1946. Financed by private donations, the Primrose Club provided a venue with a kosher dining facility where "the Boys" could continue to meet regularly. The club remained in existence until 1949 when it lost its lease. Of the 732 members of the orphans transport, approximately half settled permanently in England. The others moved to Israel, the United States and Canada.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Moniek Joseph Goldberg

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Moniek Goldberg was born on May 5, 1928 in Glowaczow, Poland, where his parents had a dry goods business. He had three sisters: Rivka (b. 1931), Faigel (b. 1929) and Devora (b. 1935) and more than 80 first cousins. When Moniek was nine years old the family moved to Kozienice, where Moniek attended yeshiva. After the German occupation the Goldbergs remained in Kozienice, where a formal ghetto was established in the winter of 1941. In late April 1942 Moniek was taken to the nearby labor camp of Szyszki. The new camp was not tightly guarded and Moniek succeeded in running away three times to visit his family. When in September 1942, 35 Jewish prisoners refused to go to work on Yom Kippur the Germans marched all the Jews from the camp to a nearby clearing, where those who had refused to work were shot and the rest, including Moniek, were forced to bury them. That same day the Kozienice ghetto was liquidated, and the other Goldbergs were never heard from again. Moniek was then transferred to a new camp in Kruszyn and from there to the Pionki munitions plant, where he worked for the next year and a half. Moniek worked in the kitchen and soon developed a trade in smuggled bread. The day before Christmas 1943, Moniek got into a fight with an ethnic German. He was about to be condemned to hang when the German woman who was in charge of the kitchen pleaded on his behalf and his punishment was reduced to 25 lashes. In July 1944 Moniek was transferred to Auschwitz and sent to work at the Buna plant. He stayed there until January 1945, when the camp was evacuated and he was sent on a forced march that took him to Gleiwitz, Buchenwald, Ohrdruf and finally to Theresienstadt, where he was liberated on May 8. Moniek then made his way to Prague, where he fell ill and spent the next six weeks recovering at the home of the Zeman family. At this time he heard about the orphans transport to England and applied to join the group. His transport arrived in England on August 14, 1945.
    Record last modified:
    2004-07-20 00:00:00
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