Museum of Jewish Heritage Curriculum Guide: “The Children of Willesden Lane” by Mona Golabek and Lee Cohen
If you are teaching The Children of Willesden Lane, we recommend using the following lessons from the Museum’s Holocaust Curriculum:
Lesson One – Introduction to Jewish Life During the Holocaust
Use this lesson to give students a background on life before, during, and after the Holocaust. We recommend that you omit artifact images as appropriate, depending on the age of your students.
Lesson Three – Nuremberg Laws and Kristallnacht
Use this lesson to explore the Jewish response to discrimination in Nazi Germany that led to efforts such as the Kindertransports.
Lesson Six – Experiences of Jewish Children and Teens
Use this lesson to teach about the varied experiences and options available to Jewish children living under the Nazis during the Holocaust. We recommend that you include the standard artifacts in this lesson, as it highlights how unique the experience of Jews on the Kindertransport was in the larger context of the Holocaust.
Additional Artifacts for Lesson Six
To further examine the experience of the children on the Kindertransports, add the following artifacts to the lesson (or use the same methodology on a separate day, depending on how much time you can spend on this lesson):
- Telegram from Martin Amster to Blanka Scharlack: Safely Arrived
Martin Amster informs his sister-in-law in San Antonio that his daughter Ruth had arrived safely in England. Ruth came to England on a Kindertransport via Amsterdam and later joined her father in the United States in 1943. Ruth Meador was born into a Jewish family in Kassel, Germany. She was seven years old when Kristallnacht happened on November 9, 1938. Her parents decided to send her and her sister to safety and told her to place a small amount of clothes and other necessities into a tiny suitcase. She and her sister were first sent to Amsterdam, and then to Manchester, England, where they lived with a Jewish family.
- Kiddush cup for Passover
Edith Lefor Riemer’s family (from Barchfeld, Germany) used this for Passover (Kiddush cups are used to bless wine as part of holidays and other religious occasions). Edith’s parents sent some of their possessions to England in anticipation of their expected emigration. Among the possessions were household items, the Kiddush cup and a salt holder for Passover (used as part of the Passover Seder), and a page of prayer for Yom Kippur. Edith went to England in 1939 as part of a Kindertransport. Her parents were unable to get out of Germany and did not survive.
- Kindertransport tag reading “Tichauer Erika, 4614” (front view | back view)
This was an identification which was hung around Erika Tichauer’s neck. Her name and a number on the back are written in blue pencil. The other side shows the red stamp of the Port Medical Officer in Harwich, England. The tag originally had a string, which disintegrated and was discarded. Erika was 12 when she went to England on a Kindertransport together with her younger brother Horst. Later, when she moved to America, Erika changed the spelling of her name to Erica.
- Pencil set brought by Kindertranportee Erika Tichauer from Germany to England (exterior view | interior view)
Erika was 12 when she went to England on a Kindertransport together with her younger brother Horst. The pencil case has leather outside, compartments and pencil holders inside. Inside are a ruler, pencils (not from Germany), a British postage stamp, and English coins.
- Kindertransport checklist of Hans Lopater
This is a list in German of what Hans Lopater will need to take with him on the Kindertransport: socks, sweaters, pajamas, toothbrush, tallit (prayer shawl), coat, etc. It was signed by his mother. Born in Vienna, Austria, Hans left for England in 1939 on the Kindertransport to escape from the Nazis. He came to the U.S. in 1940 with his mother and joined his father. He grew up in Chicago where he graduated from the University of Chicago. Upon graduation, he worked in the advertising industry and Gillette where he was Vice President in charge of marketing research.
- Photo of Hans Lopater in British school uniform
Hans is pictured here with an older boy or young adult. The photo was printed on postcard stock and sent to J. Lopater. The inscription in German translates: “I got your dear letter with the delightful message. I am sending you herewith the picture York… Hopefully we meet again soon. Kisses Hansy.” Born in Vienna, Austria, Hans left for England in 1939 on the Kindertransport to escape from the Nazis. He came to the U.S. in 1940 with his mother and joined his father. He grew up in Chicago where he graduated from the University of Chicago. Upon graduation, he worked in the advertising industry and Gillette where he was Vice Presdent in charge of marketing research.