Author: LATIFA YEDROUDJ
PRINCE Charles looked “astonished” as he chatted to Jewish refugees during a reception at St James Palace in London this afternoon, listening to stories of how they fled the Nazi regime as children.
The Prince of Wales enjoyed a glass of wine as he sat at a table with members of the Association of Jewish Refugees, and was pictured smiling as he spoke to the Holocaust survivors.
The event marked the 80th anniversary of Kindertransport – a UK organised rescue effort which brought nearly 10,000 Jewish children aged between three and 17 from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, before World War 2.
Prince Charles told guests: “I hope that people have learned lessons”.
The senior members, who are now in their 80s and 90s, enjoyed tea and cake as they spoke to Charles
They shared stories of how they fled persecution, were separated from their loved ones and explained how their families were left behind in concentration camps during the Nazi rule.
Most of the members were Jewish, and more than half of them never saw their parents again.
Charles, who is a patron of The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and the World Jewish Relief Fund, said: “I can never get over your stories. I think what you all have gone through is astonishing.”
The prince sat beside husband and wife Bob and Ann Kirk, who were rescued by Kindertransport when they were just 13 and 10
Mr Kirk, 93, said: “I think they call it the 40-year syndrome because we never used to talk about what it was like on Kindertransport. We did not speak about it in the Blitz or long after. Now we keep talking about it.”
Mrs Kirk, 90, praised Charles for being “extremely supportive” and said the prince took a “very serious” interest in Kindertransport and the welfare of those who fled the persecution.
Another guest, 84-year-old Marcel Anisfield took the opportunity to lead a Happy Birthday chorus in honour of Charles’ birthday, before handing him a birthday card with a hologram of a lion.
Charles thanked him and promised to read it later, before saying: “I need my glasses.”