King Charles III has met with some of the remaining children of the Kindertransport to commemorate the 85th anniversary of Kristallnacht.
On 9th November, His Majesty arrived at London’s Central Synagogue, where he was welcomed by the institution’s authorities.
Once inside, he sat down with some of the children that became part of Kindertransport, a project that rescued children, mainly coming from Jewish families, from Germany.
The King was heard telling Central Synagogue President Michael Goldstein, Senior Rabbi Barry Lerner and other authorities that is was nice to see “some familiar faces”.
He then chatted with some of the members of this project, most of whom are over 90 years old now. The King showed a particular interest in listening to their stories, asking questions about their years in the UK, and how old they were when they got moved there.
The people he met are all part of AJR (Association of Jewish Refugees), which was created in 1941 as a support group for Jewish refugees who had arrived in the United Kingdom from all the parts of Europe that were being occupied by Nazi Germany.
Before leaving the venue, King Charles also unveiled a sober plaque (transparent acrylic with black writing. It has no symbols or logos, just the writing) commemorating his visit and marking the anniversary. It reads “Unveiled by His Majesty the King to mark his visit to The Central Synagogue and his meeting with A.J.R. Kindertransport refugees. In commemoration of the 85th Anniversary of Kristalnacht. 9th November 2023”.
This visit comes as the Jewish community marks the sombre 85th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the night in which Nazi forces (the paramilitary, the SS and the armed branch of Hitler’s youth) conducted a violent riot against Jews on a massive scale. According to records, more than 7000 business beginning to Jews were destroyed (hence the name of “Night of the Broken Glass”), and more than 30000 Jewish men were arrested and sent to concentration camps.