During his first state visit to Germany, King Charles commemorated the Kindertransport – the British rescue operation which saved the lives of more than 10,000 German and Austrian Jewish children fleeing Nazi persecution.

Accompanied by German President Steinmeier,  the King and Queen Consort laid a wreath of flowers at the statue called The Final Parting that shows the young refugees leaving for Britain with their belongings in a suitcase. Most of their parents were murdered in the Holocaust.

It was one of several commemorative moments during the king’s state visit, where he spoke of the “special bond of friendship” that grew between Britain and Germany from the ruins of the Second World War.

Maria Ault, who travelled from Hamburg to the UK on the Kindertransport in 1939 told Jewish News: “It is deeply moving to see King Charles pay his respects at the Kindertransport Memorial Hamburg, 85-years since the Nazis tore my world apart. The monument marks the chance I was given to make a new life in Great Britain and forms a tangible link in the story of the refugees’ escape from Nazism and the sanctuary we received in the UK.

“So today, together with The Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR) and the Kinder who made their escape, I am thankful to His Majesty for his visit and personal interest in the lives of the Kinder. It is my fervent wish that his visit will help to further remembrance of the Kindertransport and the Holocaust”.


Michael Newman, CEO the Association of Jewish Refugees said: “As the national organisation representing and supporting Holocaust refugees and survivors, we are immensely grateful to His Majesty for including in his itinerary to Germany a visit to the Kindertransport monument in Hamburg and for his longstanding dedication to remembrance of the Holocaust.

“As living memory of the Holocaust recedes and we grapple with its legacy, it is important to commemorate milestones such as the 85th anniversary of the Kindertransport, both to honour those whose lives were ripped apart by the Nazi regime and to combat Holocaust distortion.

“Recognising this landmark also underscores the importance of capturing and disseminating eye-witness accounts, such as those of the Kinder, one of the topics that will be discussed at The Association of Jewish Refugees international forum on Holocaust testimony at Lancaster House next month.”

Sheltering Jews during the Holocaust is also in the King’s own history. His paternal grandmother, Princess Alice of Greece, gave refuge to a Jewish family in her palace when the Nazis invaded the country in 1943 until they withdrew the following year – a period during which the vast majority of Greek Jews were killed.

This year, we want to do more to bless Israel and the Jewish people.

We know that as we bless Israel this year, God will bless us, just as He promised in Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Now is the time to bless Israel and the Jewish people.