Children Became Letters

Holger Terp writes: "Children Became Letters" was a common expression among Jews in Nazi Germany. From 1933 on, Jewish children were especially hard hit by anti-Semitism, both at school and in their neighbourhoods. An ever larger number of parents made the difficult decision to entrust their children to Jewish aid organizations and send them abroad alone. The multimedia exhibition "Children Became Letters" concentrates on the children's organized escape from Germany to Palestine and the USA between 1933 and 1941. Using personal life stories, it shows the opportunities and difficulties of emigration. In addition to tracing the different paths taken by the children, it portrays the work of Jewish aid organizations by focusing on the biographies of two major figures - Recha Freier and Kaete Rosenheim. With these thematic focal points, the authors of the exhibition want to examine the limits and opportunities of rescue work.

A film installation entitled "Innere Landschaften" (Inner Landscapes) explores the experience of escape, departure and life in a foreign land. Since the inception of the project, the authors of the exhibition have cooperated closely on a variety of issues with secondary schools in Berlin and its environs. Students of the Katholische Liebfrauenschule and the Schiller-Oberschule have created an exhibition about the Children's Home Ahawah that will be presented in the former rooms of Ahawa. After 1933, the staff managed to send some of the children to safety in Palestine with the help of the Youth Aliyah movement. This part of the exhibition project is accessible from the Centrum Judaicum and was also opened in 28 September 2004.

Book (German language): Gudrun Maierhof / Chana Schuetz / Hermann Simon (eds.): "Aus Kindern wurden Briefe. Die Rettung juedischer Kinder aus Nazi-Deutschland"

Exhibition: 29 September 2004 - 31 January 2005 - Stiftung Neue Synagoge Berlin - Centrum Judaicum, Oranienburger Str. 28/30, 10117 Berlin (Mitte), S-Bahn stop Oranienburger Strasse, information via tel. (030) 88028-368, email:

Ronald Hilton 2004


last updated: January 16, 2005