The British Library

James’s Story

My Grandfather was evacuated to this country at the age of 8 as a child alongside his little sister, both as part of Kinder Transport, as a result of fears around their Jewish parentage. He is reluctant to speak about it, distanced his sister while she was still alive, gave up his German Jewish heritage and Citizenship, and holds typically right wing views regarding immigration. But is now part of a Jewish Refugees association, co operating and sharing stories he has never done with his own son. He continues to possess a letter from his Mother, my Great Grandmother, he has never had translated and has never read, and does not wish to. He holds a wedge of my history I have never possessed, and likely never will given the destruction of records in Eastern Germany. I feel distinctly Scottish, partly British, but have never felt comfortable speaking about being German or Jewish in any capacity. When I have I’ve been called greedy, asked if I could sniff out the money my family left behind, laughed at for my Jew-fro, and asked what it’s like to be cold blooded. I can easily hide the immigrant parts of my identity, but to do so I feel involved accepting a degree of emptiness.

-James, Dundee

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