It was an honour yesterday to witness the formal remembrance ceremony that included a wreath for the refugees of Kitchener camp. This took place at the Cenotaph in London, during the AJEX (https://www.ajex.org.uk) commemoration in Whitehall.
For families not resident in the UK, particularly, I should stress that this is no small, local affair but the state monument in London. This is a recognition of the history of our fathers, grandfathers and extended families on a national scale – and it was an incredible moment to witness.
As well as a commemoration to the armed forces and associated forms of service, a prayer was also said for the six million – among whom all of us will count some family members.
Our Kitchener wreath was laid by Michael Ziff, who had a family member who was a Dovercourt boy, I believe. That is, he was a Kindertransport teenager who for a time was resident in Kitchener camp until more suitable accommodation could be found. I had a brief chance to tell Michael about the project after the ceremony, and hope the family get in touch to tell us a little bit more.
Below, I have added some of the photographs I took, and I sent out quite a few tweets on the day – all of which get uploaded in real time on the right-hand side of the website (best accessed on a desktop).
I’ve been so pleased to hear that a number of Kitchener descendants were able to attend the commemoration, although somehow most of us managed to miss each other in the crowds!
But whoever you were standing alongside, I think you’ll know what I mean in what I say next – whatever religion (or none) that you follow.
In this context especially, there seems something very special about Hebrew prayers rising on the air from a crowd of people gathered together in the heart of London.
A wonderful event – and thank you so very much to AJEX for thinking of us, and for remembering our fathers and grandfathers at Kitchener camp.
Monica Lowenberg has very kindly uploaded her photographs of the day, including images from the memorial booklet.
These can be accessed from her email, which was sent out earlier today.