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Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport
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Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport

4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  456 ratings  ·  41 reviews
The companion to the Academy Award(r) winning feature documentary from Warner Bros.
For nine months before the outbreak of World War II, Britain conducted an extraordinary rescue mission. It opened its doors to over 10,000 endangered children-90 per cent of them Jewish-from Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia. These children were taken into foster homes and hostels in Bri
Paperback, 292 pages
Published October 19th 2001 by Bloomsbury USA (first published 2000)
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Into the Arms of Strangers by Mark Jonathan HarrisRescuing the Children by Deborah HodgeMy Family for the War by Anne C. VoorhoeveKindertransport by Olga Levy DruckerKindertransport by Diane Samuels
1st out of 49 books — 3 voters
The Brightness of Stars by Lisa  CherryAnother Place at the Table by Kathy HarrisonThe Girls Who Went Away by Ann FesslerThe Lost Daughters of China by Karin EvansThe Family Nobody Wanted by Helen Grigsby Doss
Non-Fiction Books about Adoption/Foster Care
234th out of 284 books — 131 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,464)
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I started this book in order to just pull a few passages out for an essay I was writing, and I wound up reading it from cover to cover. It was absolutely heart-wrenching.

The book follows ten or so individuals through different stages of their lives before, during, and after World War II. All of them were to become part of the kindertransport that saved 10,000 children from Hitler's regime, what they experienced through the ordeal, the weights placed on their shoulders because of it, and the aft
Oct 05, 2014 Bev rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: reviews
To be completely honest, it is extremely rare to find me reading a non-fiction novel, especially one 275 pages long. I am not against long books, usually non-fiction simply cannot keep my attention the same way fiction does. Into the Arms of Strangers, by Mark Jonathan Harris, however, certainly kept my interest throughout the whole 275 pages. Not only is it a wonderful narrative that leads the reader through World War II, but it leads the reader through many versions of this terrible time in hi ...more
Gail Hedlund
This book was amazing. I really enjoy it. I think that if people want to understand how hard times were & how selfless some people were they' read this book. I think it would be great being paired with "Island of Hope, Island of Tears". The drive to survive & the human spirit.
I think this should be required reading for young people today. Make them see just how selfish they are when they whine & fuss about not getting the newest smartphone or iPad. I honestly think that if some young
Ashwini V
This book focuses on a different aspect of the holocaust, it tells us the stories of the Jewish children that managed to escape occupied Germany and live under the care of their British host families. It follows their stories, all of which unanimously begin before the start of the second world war, going back to when Hitler came to power in Jan 1933. They suffered enough that their parents decided to send them away to Britain, away from the eventual suffering and death in the hands of the Nazis. ...more
From 1938 to 1939 over 10,000 children from Germany, Poland, and Czechoslovakia were saved by being sent (by their parents) to England, the United States, Australia, Singapore, and New Zealand. The majority went to England and lived with families who volunteered to take them and give them shelter and an education. The children ranged from toddlers to seventeen year olds. The stories of a handful of the children and those who organized the Kindertransport are told by the now-elderly participants. ...more
Linda Lipko
In January of 1933 Hitler’s National Socialist German Workers party came to power. The repercussions of this had far-reaching consequences that reverberate today.

Representing only 1% of the population, approximately 600,000 Jews lived in Germany. Unlike the majority of Germany’s population who lived in rural areas, the Jewish population was highly concentrated in the cities of Germany. ¾ of the Jewish population were employed and were high contributors to society. They were three times more prod
I've got an interest in Holocaust stories and read everything I come across about this period. I'd say that it's because my husband is Jewish, but I was interested even before I met him. Perhaps "interested" is the wrong word. "Compelled to know" might be better. Like so many other people, I try (and fail) to understand how such atrocities could have occurred while the rest of the world stood idly by for so long.

This book tells a story that in all my reading, I've never come across before. It's
Beach Vacation Read #4: Scrounged from the sad pair of little wicker baskets filled with books that served as the beach house library. Pretty book, though.

One and half stars? The content is legitimately interesting, but I couldn't stand the format of the narrative structure. The book is made up from the stories of dozens of individuals, which are told in epistle form by round-robin rotating fashion. I would have been far happier reading this as a collection of short memoirs with each chapter tel
Fascinating, heart-wrenching and unimaginable. Survivors of the Kindertransport have told their stories here - from pre-war to wartime Germany and reflections from 1999. Jewish families in Germany @ 1939 who as a last resort to save their children, put them on trains to England (who was the only country taking them in!). Some were toddlers, some were 16. Some found good, warm, charitable and loving families, some were taken in as 'maids' or 'servants' or sent to various foster families. Their li ...more
This book gives the actual text from documentary interviews, as well as further details that didn't fit into the documentary (such as correspondence between Lorraine Allard and her parents prior to the onset of the war). Additional details of Lory Cahn's story are also presented (Lory was literally pulled from the kindertransport by her cripple father who couldn't let her go, she went on to survive spinal meningitis and numerous concentration camps). But the most precious addition is
"I knew I could not save the world. I knew I could not stop the war from starting. But I knew I could save one human life."

Between 1938 and 1939 thousands of children from Germany, Poland, Austria and Czechoslovakia were sent to Great Britain. This is the story of different survivors' experience on the kindertransport. The perspective of parents and rescuers are also included.

One of the most haunting accounts is of a girl whose father put her on the train and then as it was leaving, pulled her o
I have always been interested in the Holocaust - as obviously morbid as that is. Stories of survival fascinate me and this book introduced me to a set of survivors that I'd never even heard of. I first read a review of the documentary before I found out there was a companion book.

Their stories were all compelling and I found the concept of the Kindertransport fascinating. That so many people would sacrifice so much to save as many children as they could is truly inspiring. It was disappointing w
So many aspects of WWII that I know nothing about. Did you know that the British helped get nearly 10K Jewish children OUT of Germany before the war launched? This book, based on a documentary, tells the stories of the children, the parents they left behind, and the foster families they went to. Their experiences vary wildly, but they are all stories worth hearing. I imagine that the documentary presents the information in a more coherent fashion than the book can, and I hope to watch it soon.
Tanya W
You can't help but feel a great deal for these people. The book is based on a documentary, the format does not go well for a book. The way the book was organized drove me crazy. Having read that in reviews before reading the book, I decided to read it in my own order by reading about each indexed witness, skipping pages (the index begins on 277). Even then, the stories were very fragmented. I wanted to know more about the individual characters.

As with any book having to do with the Holocaust, i
Interesting read that chronicles the stories of several children, officiators and parents that were involved in the Kinder transport. It corrected my misunderstanding that the operation was undercover and was done in secrecy and great danger. There were limits, largely because of immigration laws going into other countries. Children were the easiest to get out of Germany and other invaded countries. The situations the children were placed in were not always pleasant or entirely safe. Few familie ...more
Eye-opening and very sad. Sad first to see that most countries simply weren't interested in helping the Jews before it was too late (that includes the USA) and then to see families who decided that in order to save their children they needed to send them away. What these people dealt with is beyond comprehension for me.

This book is comprised primarily of first-person narratives of children who were sent from Nazi-occupied territory to England through England's Kindertransport program. Some amazi
I feel bad that America didn't do more for these children. I also feel bad that since then we surely haven't done much for the children of other nations where they suffer similiar things. I had no idea there even was kindertransport until I read this amazing book. It's terribly sad to see that to stay alive they had to give up everything, including their religion. I had to ask myself, would it be worth it? I ultimately think it would, but what a sacrifice!
It was so heart breaking, I couldn't fin
Juliana Jura
A compelling and factual book. I couldn't put it down once I started it. Such sad tales of human suffering. I kept hoping that the parents of these ' kinder' would survive but of course, most didn't. This is an aspect of the holocaust I didn't know much about. Information like this needs to be recorded for future generations. These ' kinder' did well to get through such traumatic times in their lives and make something of themselves. It was heart warming to read that they had established familie ...more
Edwina Hall Callan
Great book.
Horrible format.
"This is testimony from children who witnessed what was happening to their own Jewish families long before the war; in 1933, children terrified at school, their annexation from society. Imagine leaving your family at nine years old to live with a stranger and not speaking the language of your new home. This is the British government plan of the Kindertransport, to save the children."
I love this book! Some of the stories are sad, but some are very happy and exciting! I love reading books about World War 2. This book is about different people telling their stories of the kindertransport. They had either worked on it, were leaving on it,or sending their children on it. I would recomend this book to everyone! Its amazing! :)
This non-ficton collection of stories from participants in the Kindertransport during the Holocaust provide insight into the history and experiences of both rescuers and survivors. The book is very informative but at times becomes a little confusing as it jumps back and forth between various particpants on various events and topics.
I've read quite a few autobiographies of those who survived (or tributes to those that didn't) the Holocaust. But I never knew about the children who were able to leave Nazi occupied Europe because of the Kindertranstport. There were many stories of the various children and how the organization was ran. I was happy to read it.
Extremely important reading. We should never forget what happened to the Nazis' enemies so called. It makes me think of how the treatment of Mexican immigrants in the US is, thankfully, a pale imitation of that era but we need to remember. ...
This was a different type of an experience all together. It really opened my eyes to the fact of history and to the hardships that these people had to go through. I loved reading personal experiences.
Jamie Fairbanks
Oct 05, 2008 Jamie Fairbanks rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those interested
Not what I thought but it gives many short excerpts from peoples lives at the start, and during the Holocaust. It's not a can't-put-it-down type book, but worth a read for learning and understanding.
Very interesting book about the Jewish children whose families saved them by sending them to England--away from the Nazis, but also away from their families. Very touching.
Inspiring and compelling story of English fosterparents who cared for jewish children while Hitler devasted the rest of Europe. Told from the perspective of the children.
Incredibly heart-wrenching and true memoirs of Jewish children sent to England to escape the rapidly advancing Nazis. I couldn't put it down and I cried more than once.
Bev Murphy
I never knew anything about this part of WW2 even though I have read many books on the subject. It opens your eyes to yet another human tragedy of the war.
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