the team :
Pamela Sturhoofd - Director
Freek Zonderland - Cinematographer
Lody van de Kamp - Executive Producer
Jessica van Tijn - Research and producer
Kindertransports were the train transports allowed by the Nazi's between december 2, 1938 and May 14, 1940 to take young (between 5-10 years old), mostly Jewish children to the Netherlands and England. In total, around 10.000 children - sent from Berlin, Vienna and Prague without their parents and only allowed a small suitcase each - were saved and survived the Holocaust. Most of their parents did not.
The Dutch social worker Truus Wijsmuller was sent to negotiate a deal about these transports with Adolf Eichmann, stationed in Vienna at that time. The first promised transport was likely meant as a joke by Eichmann, but after Wijsmuller was able to fill a train with (Jewish) children within a couple of days, she was allowed to keep taking children out on a much more regular basis with a maximum of a 150 children at the time. She was involved all the way to the very end, when the last ship left the harbour of IJmuiden (Holland) on its way to England on May 14, 1940: the day the Netherlands capitulated to Germany.
One of the important questions being asked in this documentary is: ‘Why did Truus Wijsmuller never really got the recognition she so clearly deserves?’
War heroes like Nicolas Winton, Oskar Schindler and Raoul Wallenberg did get (and with all rights so) a lot of recognition for what they have done. Interestingly enough, the former two did rescue remarkably less people than Truus Wijsmuller did. So why so little awareness of her work?
Was it because of her modesty, was it because she was a woman, or because she did not have children of her own who could have made some noise for her?