Project Title

Strangers in a Strange Land: A Study of the Religious and Cultural Identity of the Kindertransport Children

Author Names

Rachael SneedFollow

Authors' Affiliations

Rachael Sneed, Department of History, College of Arts and Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN.

Location

Ballroom

Start Date

4-12-2019 9:00 AM

End Date

4-12-2019 2:30 PM

Poster Number

77

Faculty Sponsor’s Department

History

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Stephen Fritz

Type

Poster: Competitive

Classification of First Author

Undergraduate Student

Project's Category

History, Religious Studies, Cultural Studies

Abstract Text

Before World War II, many Jewish communities began to worry for their children's safety. As a result, families and Jewish communities in Britain and Nazi- Occupied countries worked together to send their children to safety. Around 10,000 Jewish refugee children went to Great Britain on the Kindertransport transportations from Czechoslovakia, Austria, and Germany. These children came from many different nationalities and economic backgrounds and went to many different types of foster homes. Some of these children ended up with Jewish foster families while many ended up with Christian foster families. Same came from religious backgrounds and some came from non-religious backgrounds. While researchers in the past examined the impact of their religion on their adjustment as refugees, not many researched how life as a refugee and a foster child impacted their relationship with religion. To understand the lives of these children fully, historians must examine all parts, including their religious and cultural identities. Considering Nazis persecuted these children and their families for their religious and cultural identities, researchers must examine this to when studying these children and their experiences. When telling their stories, historians must include everything, especially the parts Nazis determined to end. How did they develop their religious and cultural identities considering everything happening in the world around them? How did British Christian culture affect their identity transformation? How did Nazi persecution influence their ideas about their Jewish identity, religion, and culture? The study examined this using a content analysis of 15 oral histories, a memoir, and the documentary film Into the Arms of Strangers. Each child's different life experiences impacted their different identities. This study was not meant to be generalized to the larger public and only meant to be the beginning of a larger study of other Kindertransport children. This particular study only focused on the specific experiences of those studied.

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Apr 12th, 9:00 AM Apr 12th, 2:30 PM

Strangers in a Strange Land: A Study of the Religious and Cultural Identity of the Kindertransport Children

Ballroom

Before World War II, many Jewish communities began to worry for their children's safety. As a result, families and Jewish communities in Britain and Nazi- Occupied countries worked together to send their children to safety. Around 10,000 Jewish refugee children went to Great Britain on the Kindertransport transportations from Czechoslovakia, Austria, and Germany. These children came from many different nationalities and economic backgrounds and went to many different types of foster homes. Some of these children ended up with Jewish foster families while many ended up with Christian foster families. Same came from religious backgrounds and some came from non-religious backgrounds. While researchers in the past examined the impact of their religion on their adjustment as refugees, not many researched how life as a refugee and a foster child impacted their relationship with religion. To understand the lives of these children fully, historians must examine all parts, including their religious and cultural identities. Considering Nazis persecuted these children and their families for their religious and cultural identities, researchers must examine this to when studying these children and their experiences. When telling their stories, historians must include everything, especially the parts Nazis determined to end. How did they develop their religious and cultural identities considering everything happening in the world around them? How did British Christian culture affect their identity transformation? How did Nazi persecution influence their ideas about their Jewish identity, religion, and culture? The study examined this using a content analysis of 15 oral histories, a memoir, and the documentary film Into the Arms of Strangers. Each child's different life experiences impacted their different identities. This study was not meant to be generalized to the larger public and only meant to be the beginning of a larger study of other Kindertransport children. This particular study only focused on the specific experiences of those studied.