Third Year Art pupils have created a sculpture to mark the 80th anniversary of the Kindertransport. The sculpture was put on display in a special assembly during which Hamptonians heard the personal story of Bea Green, who escaped from Nazi Germany in 1939.
Mrs Green, whose grandson Ben is in the Fourth Year, spoke to a packed Main Hall about her memories of living in Germany as Hitler began his systematic persecution of German Jews. She recalled a narrow escape from capture during Kristallnacht, how her father was beaten and paraded through the streets, and the subsequent decision of her family to send her away on the Kindertransport.
Warmly applauded by Hamptonians, Mrs Green was thanked by The Headmaster, Kevin Knibbs, who commented:
There is much that we should take away from today, but among the most resonant things is your story’s lesson about the importance of maintaining our alertness to the threats of prejudice, intolerance and unkindness… even in societies like ours which consider themselves to be civilised and sophisticated, as indeed Weimar Germany was in the 1920s and early 30s.
Following Assembly, Mrs Green met Third Year artists who have created a sculpture to mark the Kindertransport and the evacuation to the United Kingdom of 10,000 Jewish children from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland.
Depicting a young girl and a boy on the point of departure to England, the sculpture is made of an aluminum armature, clad with newspaper and clothes soaked in PVA glue. The faces were modeled in clay, then cast in plaster. The whole sculpture is painted in acrylic paint to make it look like bronze.