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Experience / Events / Virtual Kindertransport University Day

Virtual Kindertransport University Day

ASI’s Kindertransport University Day brings together some of the brightest minds to explore topics in connection with ASI’s related exhibition Kindertransport – Rescuing Children on the Brink of War.

Join virtually for educational presentations and public conversations with speakers including Uri Berliner, Senior Business Editor at NPR, Dr. Kyle Ward, Professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato; Melissa Hacker, filmmaker; and Beth Gendler, Executive Director of NCJW Minnesota.

All participants will receive advance access to Melissa Hacker’s film, My Knees Were Jumping, a documentary about Kindertransport, as well as a recording of a virtual exhibition tour of “Kindertransport – Rescuing Children on the Brink of War.”

University Day will be recorded to watch later, so if registrants cannot tune in live, they will still receive full access to the program.



10-11 a.m. Nordic Countries and the Holocaust
Dr. Kyle Ward, Professor Minnesota State University, Mankato, will discuss the impacts of the Holocaust on the Nordic countries during WWII and its lasting impact on the region today.

11 a.m.– 12 p.m. My Knees Were Jumping: Remembering the Kindertransports
Award-winning filmmaker Melissa Hacker will present on her groundbreaking film My Knees Were Jumping, the first documentary made about the Kindertransports. She will share insights gained from over 20 years of immersion in the subject of the Kindertransport.

Melissa began knowing only that her mother had been sent away, alone, from her family, home, and country as a child. Though her mother became a successful and Academy Award-nominated film and theatrical costume designer (The Miracle Worker, Annie Hall, The Hustler), there was much unspoken and the subject of her mother’s childhood was approached with great care. Melissa’s search through archives and attics included many interviews and found film footage that had never before been seen, and historical details and family stories that had not been shared.

1:30-2:30 p.m. The Kindertransport: A Family Story of Struggle and Survival
Beth Gendler, Executive Director of NCJW Minnesota, joins her uncle Mainfred to share her family’s Kindertransport experience. Beth’s father, uncle and cousin were among the 10,000 children who were rescued from Nazi Germany by the Kindertransport.

Their story is remarkable, except that it isn’t – it is one of thousands of similar stories of struggle and survival. Beth will share her family’s experiences from their small town in Germany, from a refugee camp in Poland, and from the train platform where parents were given just moments to decide to the children’s fate.

2:30-4:00 p.m. My father’s Kindertransport Experience: How a Toy Monkey Helped Him Discover Swedish Relatives Nearly 80 Years Later
Uri Berliner, Senior Business Editor at NPR joins Swedish journalist Claes Fürstenberg to recount the story of Uri’s father, who as a child traveled from Germany and grew up with Clae’s grandfather in Kalmar, Sweden.

Gert Berliner, Uri’s now 94-year-old father, went to Sweden on a Kindertransport from Germany, taking with him a treasured small toy monkey that used to ride on his bike’s handlebars. Eventually settling in New York, he parted with the monkey as a donation to the Jewish Museum in Berlin, which eventually led to the surprise discovery of Swedish relatives.