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75th anniversary of the Windermere children arriving

Carlisle Lake District Airport

The Lake District Holocaust Project (LDHP) has vowed not to let the Covid-19 pandemic scupper plans to mark the 75th anniversary of the day ‘The Windermere Children’ landed in Cumbria to begin new lives in the Lake District.

On the 14th August 1945, around 300 Jewish child Holocaust survivors flew from Prague to Crosby-on-Eden airport near Carlisle, after surviving the horrors of the concentration camps.

LDHP is marking the landmark anniversary on the exact same day (14th August) from exactly that same place that the child survivors touched down on British soil seventy five years ago. A special live event at the historic Carlisle Lake District Airport, which was once the now famous Crosby on Eden airfield, will be “Live” on LDHPUK Facebook page from 2pm onwards.

Tom Palmer

The events will include readings from award winning children’s book author Tom Palmer, who will be reading extracts from his new book “After the War’ that tells the story of the children and their time in Windermere.

Belinda Hochland and David Shannon will also be there to talk about their close family links to the child survivors and actually show family documents and artefacts from the child survivors and their time in Windermere. Ghetto currency smuggled into the UK by the children along with landing permits from Crosby on Eden, as well as personal photographs and official information from that day in 1945, and their time in Windermere, will also be on display and discussed.

Extracts from the Immigration Officer’s evocative report on the day describing the children landing at Crosby on Eden will be read out by LDHP director, Trevor Avery. The officer was on the tarmac waiting for the children to arrive and his description of the helpers, sandwiches and tables set out for the arrival of the unexpected stowaway is particularly poignant.

A special preview of a remarkable book called Rock the Cradle by Marie Paneth will also be discussed, along with a new publishing company “2nd Generation Publishing” established by Henry Hochland and Trevor Avery.

Henry Hochland is the son of a Holocaust survivor who built a new life as a partner of the renowned Manchester bookshop Haigh and Hochland. Trevor Avery was advisor on the acclaimed BBC Warner Bros film The Windermere Children and he also featured in the documentary The Windermere Children in Their Own Words.

Marie Paneth, a pioneer of Art Therapy, was one of the carer team that was sent to Windermere by Central British Fund, now World Jewish Relief, to care for the children. Her journal was recently discovered after seventy years as an unpublished draft book in archives in the US and will be published in autumn 2020 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the arrival, and their stay in Windermere.

“We were determined to mark the moment of the children arriving 75 years ago and could not allow this iconic moment to be side tracked by the current Covid situation.

“Carlisle Lake District Airport has been tremendously supportive in allowing access to views across the actual runway that the children touched down on in Stirling bombers so many years ago. It is going to be a hugely emotional moment.

“Some of the material and artefacts are truly incredible and we are proud and honoured to be able to share the items and stories virtually with so many of the families and people in the UK and overseas.”

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