Los Alamos Little Theatre will mark the 75th anniversary of the United Kingdom’s historic Kindertransport program with its March production of Diane Samuel’s award-winning drama of the same name. Opening Friday night, “Kindertransport” focuses on the life of one of the children rescued by England’s evacuation program for Jewish children in Germany begun on the eve of World War II.
Before the outbreak of the war, the people of Europe were aware of the dangers to the Jewish people living within the borders of the expanding German state, but there was little desire to open borders to refugees seeking to flee the Nazi regime. Attitudes shifted rapidly after the Kristallnacht pogroms of Nov. 9-10, 1938, in which Jewish businesses and synagogues were destroyed by German storm troopers.
In the UK, Parliament passed a bill waiving immigration requirements for unaccompanied children from the ages of infancy to 17. Members of the Movement for the Care of Children from Germany, later known as the Refugee Children’s Movement (RCM), began organizing on the ground in Germany and Austria, setting up systems for the selection and transportation of children.