About Yad Vashem
Special Gathering of Kindertransport Children at Yad Vashem
February 27, 2012
On Monday, 27 February, a special gathering of Kindertransport children took place at Yad Vashem, marking 100 years since the birth of Rabbi Dr. Solomon Schonfeld, who saved thousands of Jewish children and adults by means of the Kindertransport and other rescue schemes.
The gathering was the initiative of Rabbi Emanuel Fischer, a Schonfeld "kind" and his wife Bertha who was in charge of Rabbi Schonfeld's kindergarten.
Almost 300 people attended, including many survivors who were brought over on the Kindertransport from different countries, some of them saved by Solomon Schonfeld, together with their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Guests included Mrs. Bertha Leverton, founder of the Reunion of Kindertransport and her sister Inge Sadan, Professor Zerem Freier, son of the founder of the Aliyat Hanoar, Recha Freier, Colonel Yair Kolas, son of Zalman Kolas who came to England from Warsaw on the Kindertransport, and fell in the Yom Kippur War, Henry Foner, whose possessions are displayed in Kindertransport section of the Holocaust History Museum, Ambassador Mark Sofer, and Ms. Ruth Reuveni, who took 3 Kindertransport children into her home, and is approaching her 100th birthday.
The event opened with a Yizkor ceremony in memory of Rabbi Dr. Solomon Schonfeld, led by Rabbi Emanuel Fischer, joined by Rabbi Alexander Rosin, who came from France for the event, and Rabbi Schonfeld's son, Mr. Jonathan Schonfeld, who flew in especially from England.
Speakers at the event were Rabbi Emanuel Fischer, Ms. Aliza Tenenbaum, Director of the Kindertransport Association in Israel, Rabbi Fabian Schonfeld, also a Schonfeld "kind", who was the Rabbi of the synagogue Young Israel of Kew Garden Hills for 60 years, Mr. Jonathan Schonfeld, Rabbi Dr. Solomon Schonfeld's son, who shared many anecdotes about his father, Mrs. Debby Spero, one of Yad Vashem's veteran guides and the daughter of Rabbi Fabian Schonfeld, who delivered a moving lecture about the Kindertransport and Ms. Efrat Komisar, Head of the Footage Department of the Yad Vashem Archives, who presented archival footage of the Kindertransport.
For the Kinder, it was a wonderful opportunity to meet with old friends who they hadn't seen for many years, and to catch up. People stayed to talk and reminisce long after the event was officially over.