This Historian Draws Lessons About Family Separation at U.S.-Mexico Border from Kindertransport ArtifactsHistorians in the News
tags: Holocaust, Jewish history, migrants, refugees
Seven years ago, Jennifer Craig-Norton uncovered a cache of original correspondence about a group of Kindertransport children from Poland.A Ph.D. candidate in England at the time, she had no idea that voices of child refugees from the past would end up shining a light on the global child refugee situation of today.
But that’s exactly what happened when the stories of World War II’s “kinder children” became the inspiration for “The Kindertransport: Contesting Memory,” published last summer.
The Holocaust historian’s first book challenges the long-accepted and celebrated narrative of these children as lucky youngsters who went on to live normal lives in the kind embrace of strangers in England.
Instead, what the former Sacramento State University graduate student discovered was that no matter the type of care these children received, “they were deeply unhappy, psychologically broken, couldn’t adjust to the loss of their family, couldn’t rebond with their family if they were reunited, and that they were proselytized by foster families.”
Her conclusion: “Family separation is disastrous.”
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