Kitchener Descendants Group: Call for documents, photographs and information relating to the Kitchener Camp

Wednesday, 4 October, 2017

In the night of 9th to 10th November 1938, paramilitary groups employed by National socialists in Germany carried out attacks on synagogues, buildings and stores owned by Jews. The German authorities did not intervene and this so-called November Pogrom (also known as Kristallnacht) generated shock and empathy in neighbouring countries. In Britain, the immediate aftermath of the November Pogrom led to two centrally orchestrated rescue operations. The Central British Fund for German Jewry (now World Jewish Relief) convinced the British government to rescue Jews from greater Germany. The first action, known as the Kindertransport, led 10.000 unaccompanied children into Britain in 1939. The second action, which was carried out that same year, rescued 4000 (mostly Jewish) men, whom had been arrested during the period of the November Pogrom. These men were give shelter in the Kitchener camp from 1939 onwards.

The story of Kitchener camp is not well documented, and in the summer of 2017, for the first time, a group of descendants of these refugees came together. With assistance from the Association of Jewish Refugees and under the guidance of Professor Clare Ungerson, (who wrote a book about the rescue), they met in Sandwich, Kent, near the place where the Kitchener camp was. The descendants decided they wanted to do more with their family’s history and the story of Kitchener camp. To this end they have now started the website and aim to gather as much documents, information, photographs and stories as possible. If you are a descendant, or know anyone who is, or perhaps have come across relevant information or documentation about Kitchener camp, the Kitchener Descendants Group would like to hear from you. More information on the Kitchener Descendants Group and a call for information can be found here.