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Young children in the Weir Courtney children's home gather by a table with art and sewing supplies.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 67887

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    Young children in the Weir Courtney children's home gather by a table with art and sewing supplies.
    Young children in the Weir Courtney children's home gather by a table with art and sewing supplies.

From left to right are unidentified, Zdenka Husserl, Tanja Muench, Letzi Sonnenschein, and Denny Muench.

    Overview

    Caption
    Young children in the Weir Courtney children's home gather by a table with art and sewing supplies.

    From left to right are unidentified, Zdenka Husserl, Tanja Muench, Letzi Sonnenschein, and Denny Muench.
    Date
    Circa 1945 - 1946
    Locale
    Weir Courtney, [Surrey] England
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Zdenka Husserl
    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.

    https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005142.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Zdenka Husserl

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Biography
    Zdenka Husserl (born Zdenka Husserlova) is the daughter of Pavel and Helena (Fischerova) Husserlova. She was born in Prague on February 6, 1939. On October 10, 1941, when Zdenka was just two and a half years old, her father was deported to the Lodz ghetto, where he died a year later, on September 23, 1942. Following his deportation, Helena brought Zdenka back to her hometown of Zdikov to live with her mother and uncle. They remained there for one year before being sent to Theresienstadt on November 16, 1942. Helena was subsequently deported to Auschwitz on October 19, 1944, where she died at the age of 34. Zdenka, however, remained in Theresienstadt until the liberation. After the war Zdenka was placed on a transport of 300 child survivors to England sponsored by the British philanthropist, Leonard Montefiore. Following her arrival in England in August 1945, Zdenka was sheltered together with 23 other concentration camp survivors at the Finchley Road children's home in London.
    Record last modified:
    2013-05-21 00:00:00
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/pa1177952

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