Res­cued­child fi­nally tells story

Su­sanne Lind breaks her si­lence at screen­ing of BBC’s Win­ton doc­u­men­tary

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY ROSA DO­HERTY

GRIP­PING THE hand­ker­chief her mother had given her when she left Prague, aged 14, one of the 669 chil­dren saved from the Nazis by Sir Ni­cholas Win­ton spoke pub­licly for the first time about her wartime ex­pe­ri­ences.

Now 91 and liv­ing in High­gate, Su­sanne Lind was in­ter­viewed by broad­caster Nat­saha Kaplin­sky af­ter an ad­vance cen­tral Lon­don screen­ing of a BBC One doc­u­men­tary on Sir Ni­cholas, Chil­dren Saved from the Nazis, which was broad­cast on HMD .

Re­call­ing her de­par­ture on the penul­ti­mate Czech Kin­der­trans­port or­gan­ised by Sir Ni­cholas — who died last year, aged 106 — Mrs Lind said:“My father was not able to see me off be­cause he was to­tally heart­bro­ken but my mother saw me off at the sta­tion. I knew I would never see them again.

“With this [the hand­ker­chief] my mother wiped away my tears and put it in my pocket. I’ve kept that hand­ker­chief for more years than you can imag­ine.”

Mrs Lind was re­cently per­suaded by her grand­daugh­ter, Katie, to record tes­ti­mony for the UK Holo­caust Me­mo­rial Foun­da­tion, which part­nered the the BBC on the hour-long film.

“I couldn’t turn my grand­daugh­ter’s re­quest down, so I agreed to do it. I was very ner­vous of the past — and of the in­ter­view. But it was a great re­lief. I felt at last I have told it. I had only ever told the ba­sics to my daugh­ters. I was made to feel so com­fort­able and that is why I can be here to­day to talk about it, too.”

Ms Kaplin­sky said: “Susie is an ex­tra­or­di­nary woman and it was un­der­stand­ably dif­fi­cult to get her to record her tes­ti­mony for us [the foun­da­tion] for the first time. I’m not sure how her fam­ily have done it again and got her here to­day but we have to thank them.”

Lord Dubs and Rev John Field­send — who also ar­rived here on the Kin­der­trans­port and were fea­tured in the doc­u­men­tary —were among oth­ers at the screen­ing, along with mem­bers of Sir Ni­cholas’s fam­ily.

The UK En­voy on Post-Holo­caust Is­sues, Sir Eric Pick­les, said meet­ing Sir Ni­cholas some years ago had been “a priv­i­lege. He was a re­mark­able man and he is what this year’s HMD is about, which is not stand­ing by.

“He recog­nised and saw the evil na­ture of the Nazi regime, but the dif­fer­ence is he did some­thing about it when most peo­ple did noth­ing.

“The thing about Sir Ni­cholas is when we look into his eyes, we don’t see our­selves. We see what we can be, what we can as­pire to be.”

BBC di­rec­tor-gen­eral Lord Hall and UK Holo­caust Me­mo­rial Foun­da­tion chair Sir Peter Bazal­gette also spoke.

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