Kindertransport by Diane Samuels

Published by Nick Hern Books (NHB)

April 1, 2000


A modern classic about one woman’s struggle to come to terms with her past. Brutally separated from her German Jewish parents and brought to England with the promise of a new life, nine-year-old Eva ends up in Manchester. When Eva’s parents fail to escape Germany, the child changes her name and begins the process of denial of her roots. It is only when her own daughter discovers some letters in their attic that Eva is forced to confront the truth about the past.
Between 1938 and the outbreak of war, almost 10,000 children, most of them Jewish, were sent by their parents from Germany to Britain. This new edition of Diane Samuels award winning play contains several personal memoirs by children whose lives were saved by the Kindertransport.


My thoughts

I would love to see this play performed, as it is really hard to review a play as written form, as of course they are intended to be performed., but having read the dialogue I can tell that it is a really powerful and moving piece about the Kinder transport that saved Jewish children just before the outbreak of world war 2, and how it affected their lives and the lives of their descendants years later.

Today it seems impossible that the holocaust was allowed to happen, but it did and this is why plays like this need to be performed – history needs to be remembered.

The play is well written and moves between the child Eva and her adult counterpart Evelyn, and how she deals with being uprooted from her life with her parents in Germany to England and the strangers who become her new family. During the play Evelyn’s daughter discovers items from her Mother’s past and wants to learn more about her family history, history that Evelyn does not want to be reminded of. It is the story of those who need to forget and those who need to know, this is something that interests me because of my family, and our history, history that is now sadly unrecoverable but no less interesting.

As my Father has said ‘The true heroes never talked about it’. – not necessarily because they wanted to forget it, but because they didn’t believe they were heroes.

Again I would love to see this performed in order to understand the context better

I gave this play 3 out of 5*

About Andrea Pryke

I have been collecting Marilyn Monroe items since 1990 and the collection includes around 400 books, as well as films, documentaries, dolls, records and all sorts of other items
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