Volume 2  –  document 288

On 2 June 1939 the Brussels-based Aid Committee for Jewish Refugee Children asks the Israelite Religious Community of Vienna for support with the organization of the Kindertransport1CAHJP, HMB 3103, inv. no. 875. This document has been translated from German.

Letter from the Comité d’Assistance aux Enfants Juifs Réfugiés2The committee was founded in Nov. 1938 on the initiative of the lawyer Max Gottschalk, with the aim of bringing Jewish refugee children to safety. It obtained approval from the Belgian government to grant asylum to children until they were able to travel on to other countries. Marguerite Goldschmidt-Brodsky headed the committee from 1939. By that year around 1,000 children had come from Germany and Austria to Belgium. (signature illegible), 2 Rue Joseph Dupont, Brussels, to the Israelite Religious Community, Vienna I, dated 2 June 19393At the end of the document is a stamp of the ‘Comité d’Assistance aux Enfants Juifs Réfugiés’.

Re: Kindertransport to Belgium.

In the enclosure we send you a list of those on the next transports to Brussels from your town and surrounding area.4The list contained the names and addresses of Elfriede Kofler (b. 1932) from Vienna and Gerti Perschak (b. 1924) from Brno: ibid., inv. no. 877.

The children have to be at the local association office in Cologne am Rhein, 33 Rubensstrasse, by 2 p.m. on Thursday, 15 June 1939, from where they will be taken to Brussels by Belgian Red Cross delegates.

In each case we shall also inform the children’s parents, but we request that you contact them directly at the same time and issue the information that may be necessary, in order to avoid enquiries to our committee which we are often not in a position to answer due to a lack of knowledge regarding the various German regulations.

We enclose the regulations to be adhered to regarding tickets, luggage, items to be taken along, etc., and request that you ensure these regulations are indeed followed.5Ibid., inv. no. 876.

As you may well know, the German authorities do not permit either children or adults to take money, jewellery, silver, gold, etc. with them. We request that you make the parents keenly aware of the fact that spot checks will be carried out in Cologne and that the children will have to leave the transport should they be found carrying any valuables. Should we find any other valuables while unpacking here, the children will be sent back on the next train! It cannot be permitted that our transport be jeopardized through the negligence of one person.

The letters addressed to the individual children should be taken along and presented in Cologne.

Please draw the parents’ attention to the fact that neither relatives nor acquaintances may appear here at the station.

We hope that the transport will proceed smoothly and we send greetings to you on behalf of the committee: 2 enclosures.

This document is part of:
German Reich 1938–August 1939 (Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2019)