Days of Remembrance (Yom HaShoah): The Kindertransport

Kindertransport: The 10,000 Rescued Children and the Million Who Perished

We commemorated Yom HaShoah in partnership with the Kindertransport Association, the NY Board of Rabbis, and 3GNY.

The Kindertransport (“Children’s Transport”) was a British-organized rescue of 10,000 children – mostly Jewish – who were saved from the Holocaust.

This webinar highlighted the remarkable efforts of Sir Nicholas Winton, the British businessman who brought 669 Jewish refugee children to the UK. We heard from a survivor – one of “Nicky’s Children” – and the daughter of another.

While the Kindertransport was life-saving for these youths, it was an exception during the Holocaust, when one million children perished.

The webinar featured the remarkable rescue and also the failure of nations, including the US, to open their borders to those who were so desperate to leave.

Days of Remembrance (Yom HaShoah): The Kindertransport from TOLI on Vimeo.


Alice Masters, a Kindertransport survivor rescued by Nicholas Winton. 

Alice was 13 years old when her parents sent her and her two sisters on a Kindertransport, arranged by Nicholas Winton, from Prague to Britain in 1939. Alice survived the Holocaust, never to see her parents again. She immigrated to the United States in 1948. As an adult, Alice knew Sir Winton personally, and would see him every time she visited her sisters in England.  We are delighted that one of “Nicky’s Children,” who survived due to the efforts of Sir Nicholas Winton, will join us for this event.

Alice currently resides in Washington, DC. She will turn 99 on May 10th.

Girls at a children’s home in Wyberly, Burgess Hill, Sussex after being rescued by the Kindertransport.
Alice Masters appears ninth from the left in the back row.

Melissa Hacker, Executive Director of the Kindertransport Association and daughter of a Kindertransport survivor.

Melissa Hacker, Executive Director of the KTA, is the daughter of a Kindertransport survivor from Vienna, Austria. Melissa was the first Second Generation member to serve as President of the Kindertransport Association (2013-2023). During that decade, Melissa was instrumental in bringing the KTA forward, guiding two website redesigns, embarking on a multi-year strategic planning process, and creating a dynamic platform of in-person and online events including a trip tracing the Kindertransport journey from Vienna and Berlin to London, commemorating the 80th year (2019) of the Kindertransports. Melissa seeks to build community, impact, and sustainability, while honoring the dreams, intentions and legacy of the Kindertransport survivors who founded the KTA.

Melissa has spoken internationally on the Kindertransports, and consulted on the exhibit, Rescuing Children on the Brink of War at the Center for Jewish History in New York (2018, traveling in 2024), and written for the catalog and provided film excerpts for Without a Home: Kindertransports from Vienna, at the Vienna Jewish Museum (2021). Melissa’s chapter From Novosielitza to New York City, was published by Theodore Kramer Gesselschaft (2020), and Die Kindertransport Association chapter in Rettet Wenigtens die Kinder, by Fachhochschulerverlag (2018).

Melissa is also a filmmaker and professor; she made her directorial debut with My Knees Were Jumping; Remembering the Kindertransports, which was short-listed for Academy Award nomination and seen in film festivals, cinemas, museums, on television, and in universities worldwide. Honors received For Ex Libris, A Life in Bookplates, Melissa’s current work in progress, include a Fulbright Artist-in-Residence award in Vienna, residencies at Yaddo, VCCA, Playa, Willapa Bay AIR, Saltonstall, Millay, Digital Arts Studios in Belfast NI, and a 2022 LABA Laboratory for Jewish Culture Fellowship. A wandering professor, Melissa currently teaches at Marymount Manhattan College and Yangon Film School.

Melissa serves on the Executive Committee and the Governing Board of the World Federation of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants.

Moderated by Arthur Berger, former International Director of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and TOLI Board Member. 

“The true measure of a person’s character is not what they do when others are watching, but what they do when no one is watching.”

– Nicholas Winton


For more information about The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights (TOLI), please contact

TOLI is located at 58 East 79th Street in Manhattan. (get directions)