How was the rescue of 10,000 mainly Jewish children from Nazi-controlled lands carried out? What were the mechanics of rescue and how did British government policy encourage or hinder the escape of Germany’s persecuted minority? How was a large-scale voluntary effort to care for the children once in Britain, created and sustained? Mike Levy explores the mostly forgotten role of Kindertransport rescuers and the landscape of care that was quickly established in the host country.
Mike Levy is a professional researcher, educator, critic, playwright and journalist. He holds a fellowship in Holocaust education from the Imperial War Museum in London and is a frequent educator for the Lessons from Auschwitz programme run by the Holocaust Education Trust. In 2012 he was awarded the In Memoria medal by the Polish government for his history play ‘The Invisible Army’. Mike is an oral historian currently working freelance with the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and a researcher for the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation. He is also engaged by the Association for Jewish Refugees on a project to map the impact of the Holocaust on Britain. He is chair of the Harwich Kindertransport Memorial appeal seeking to create a new sculpture in the port where most of the refugee children had a first sight of freedom. Mike’s book, GET THE CHILDREN OUT! – Unsung Heroes of the Kindertransport was published by Lemon Soul in February this year.
In Jerusalem, what you see and what is true are two different things. The Old City has never had “four quarters” as its maps proclaim. And beyond the crush and frenzy of its major religious sites, many of its quarters are little known to visitors, its people ignored and their stories untold. “Nine Quarters of Jerusalem” lets the communities of the Old City speak for themselves. Ranging from ancient past to political present, it evokes the city’s depth and cultural diversity. Matthew Teller’s highly original “biography” features the Old City’s Palestinian and Jewish communities, but also spotlights its Indian and African populations, its Greek and Armenian and Syriac cultures, its downtrodden Dom Gypsy families, and its Sufi mystics. It discusses the sources of Jerusalem’s holiness and the ideas—often startlingly secular—that have shaped lives within its walls. It is an evocation of place through story, led by the voices of Jerusalemites.
Matthew Teller’s “Nine Quarters of Jerusalem: A New Biography of the Old City” (Profile Books, 2022) was named a Book of the Year by the Daily Telegraph. Matthew writes for the BBC, Guardian, Independent, Times, Financial Times and other global media. He has produced and presented documentaries for BBC Radio 4 and World Service, and has reported for Radio 4’s ‘From Our Own Correspondent’ from around the Middle East and beyond. He is the author of several travel guides, including the Rough Guide to Jordan. His previous book was “Quite Alone: Journalism from the Middle East 2008–2019”.