The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #10004   Message #1142722
Posted By: Jeanie
22-Mar-04 - 05:11 AM
Thread Name: Lyr/Tune Req: (German) 'Hanschen klein'
Subject: RE: Lyrics/melody: (German) 'Hanschen klein'
Guest of 12.28 : "Into the Arms of Strangers" is an excellent and very moving film, isn't it ? For those who don't know it, or maybe of the events which prompted it, it is about the "Kindertransport" - the initiative which evacuated Jewish children to safety in Britain before the start of the 2nd World War, with archive material and interviews telling of their experiences. The song about "Hänschen klein" being sent off into the big wide world, leaving his mother behind, is particularly poignant in this context. If you don't know this film, it is available on video (and was recently shown on British TV on Holocaust Day).

The website Into the Arms of Strangers is well worth a visit for background information, interviews and soundtrack.

I know a woman who came over with the Kindertransport - she has stayed in Britain, married and brought up a family here, and her brother returned to Germany after the war. She lived with several families, some happier times than others, and it is very moving to hear her talk of her experiences and the way she found it difficult to know exactly *who* she was and where she belonged. She was 6 years old when she arrived, and spoke no English. Coming to terms with all of this has made her into a very resourceful person and a great encourager of others: she trained as a psychologist and specializes in working with Holocaust survivors and the second and third generation of survivors, and with refugees from all countries. She organizes reconciliation meetings for Germans and Holocaust survivors, and at one of these I saw the most moving encounter between two people I have ever witnessed: a German man, now living in Britain, who had been a member of the Hitler Youth, talking, hugging and crying with a very elderly Jewish lady who had survived one the camps.

If anyone wants to know more, send me a PM and I can put you in touch with this lady.

- jeanie