On 75th Anniversary, New Book Recounts a Father-Son Kindertransport Correspondence

June 23, 2013 3:16 pm 1 comment

Kindertransport refugees arriving in London in 1939. Photo: Wikipedia.

A series of events are being hosted by, among others, former British Secretary of State David Milliband and the Prince of Wales, over the next two days in England to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the “kindertransport”—a clandestine program, enacted in the months preceding the Second World War, meant to save Jewish children. Thousands of  children were whisked from near certain death at the hands of the Nazis and granted refuge in England.

Among the attendees at the events will be Henry Foner, nee Heini Lichtwitz, a benefactor of the program whose correspondence with his father during and following the “kindertransport” has now been published by Yad Vashem.

Entitled Postcards to a Little Boy: A Kindertransport Story, The UK’s Daily Telegraph recounts the story of how “little Heini” was transported to Swansea, UK from Berlin. Once there he settled in with a Jewish couple, Morris and Winnie Foner.

Foner’s father kept in touch through post and phone over the next several years, but would later die at Auschwitz. The last letter Foner received from him was a letter sent through the German Red Cross in August 1942:

“I’m glad about your health and progress. Remain further healthy! Our destiny is uncertain. Write more frequently. Lots of kisses, Daddy.”

Then in 1961, shortly before his 30th birthday, Henry received from a second cousin in the US,  a letter written by his father in 1941 who was by then expecting the worst:

“I think my Heini has found a good home and that the Foners will look after him as well as any parents could. Please convey to them, one day when it will be possible, my deepest gratitude for making it possible for my child to escape the fate that will soon overtake me… Please tell him one day that it was only out of deep love and concern for his future that I have let him go, but that on the other hand I miss him most painfully day by day and that my life would lose all meaning if there were not at least the possibility of seeing him again someday.”

Foner, now a resident of Israel, has finally compiled the letters conveying the many years he spent soaking in his father’s love solely through mediated means. And of course, he’s dedicated it “to the memory of my father and grandmother who had the foresight and courage to send me away, and to Morris and Winifred Foner who saved my life and made me part of their family.”

1 Comment

  • Robert Morritt

    The article by Zach Pontz regarding Henry Foner (nee:Lichtwitz’ was moving and brought his fathers name ‘Lichtwitz’ to be familar to me. I collect antique books and have the ‘PHILO LEXIKON’ Handbuch des Judischen Wissens’(apologies for the use of German language here!)the early 1935 edition,published by Henry Foner’s father Max Lichtwitz. He was a brave publisher who through his ‘Handbook of Famous Jewish People’ showed the great achievemnts made,his incarceration and death at Auschwitz show bravery and at the same time much sadness.His last letters to his son show the spirit of a kind loving father.Very sad!

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Sports US & Canada Report: ‘Minyan’ Prayer Quorum Gathers at New York Rangers Games

    Report: ‘Minyan’ Prayer Quorum Gathers at New York Rangers Games

    A prayer quorum of at least 10 Jewish men, known as a minyan, gathers at every New York Rangers game played in the evening at Madison Square Garden, Jewish Insider reported on Monday citing commentator and former Mitt Romney adviser Dan Senor. “Another reason to love NYC: Just learned there’s a Minyan at every @NYRangers eve game b/w 2nd & 3rd periods at same designated spot at MSG,” tweeted Senor, who also co-authored Start Up Nation, a bestseller which documents [...]

    Read more →
  • Featured Sports World Palestinian Soccer League Withdraws Bid to Suspend Israel From FIFA

    Palestinian Soccer League Withdraws Bid to Suspend Israel From FIFA

    The head of Israel’s soccer association called on his Palestinian counterpart to “join forces,” as the Palestinian Football Association withdrew its bid on Friday to have Israel suspended from FIFA. “Let’s leave it to the politicians to do politics,” said Israel Football Association chief Ofer Eini, moments after PFA Chairman Jibril Rajoub announced that his group had withdrawn the proposal. After his remarks, Eini shook hands with the Palestinian soccer chief. Rajoub thanked “those” who convinced him to drop the [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Israeli-American Group Congratulates Cavaliers’ Blatt on Reaching NBA Finals

    Israeli-American Group Congratulates Cavaliers’ Blatt on Reaching NBA Finals

    JNS.org – An organization whose work focuses on the estimated population of 500,000-800,000 Israeli Americans congratulated David Blatt, the Jewish head coach of the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Cleveland Cavaliers and a longtime Israel-based coach, for clinching an appearance in the NBA Finals. The Israeli-American Council (IAC), whose stated mission is “to build an active and giving Israeli-American community throughout the United States in order to strengthen the State of Israel, our next generation, and to provide a bridge to [...]

    Read more →
  • Food US & Canada Bacon Flavor Ben & Jerry’s ‘Not Gonna Happen’ Because it Wouldn’t be Kosher

    Bacon Flavor Ben & Jerry’s ‘Not Gonna Happen’ Because it Wouldn’t be Kosher

    Famed ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s will not be introducing a Bacon flavored product to its offerings because the company intends to keep its entire line kosher, Marketing Director Alison Gilbert told AOL’s morning show Rise recently. “It’s kind of funny, a lot of people look for bacon in our ice cream, which is probably not gonna happen because all of our ice cream is kosher,” she said, referring to Jewish dietary restrictions that proscribe the consumption of pig [...]

    Read more →
  • Israel Sports Israeli Judo Team Faces Antisemitic Harassment in Morocco: ‘We Will Murder You’

    Israeli Judo Team Faces Antisemitic Harassment in Morocco: ‘We Will Murder You’

    Israeli athletes at a world Judo championship in Morocco reportedly faced antisemitic slurs during the competition, news site WorldNetDaily reported on Monday. “We will murder you,” and “you’re not wanted here, go home,” were among the vituperative attacks directed at the Israeli Judo Association team, which was in Morocco last week for the World Masters Judo Tournament. According to Haaretz, each Israeli teammate was met with boos and jeers upon entering a fight. Additionally, no Israeli flags were present at [...]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Lady Gaga Accepts ADL Award: ‘Your Philosophies Are So in Line With Ours’ (VIDEO)

    Lady Gaga Accepts ADL Award: ‘Your Philosophies Are So in Line With Ours’ (VIDEO)

    Pop superstar Lady Gaga on Thursday accepted an award from Jewish human rights group the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on behalf of her Born This Way Foundation, which strives to combat bullying among young people. “Your philosophies are so in line with ours,” she said of the ADL upon accepting the Making a Difference Award in a videotaped message, which was shown at a ceremony in New York City. “We want to help young people know that their feelings and who they are on [...]

    Read more →
  • Music Personalities At 80, Singer-Songwriter Leonard Cohen’s Jewish Roots ‘Very Much Intact’

    At 80, Singer-Songwriter Leonard Cohen’s Jewish Roots ‘Very Much Intact’

    JNS.org – Eighty years young, Leonard Cohen fits many descriptions—singer, songwriter, poet, novelist, monk. From his Jewish upbringing in Canada to the present day, Cohen has always explored his spiritual side. This month, the singer-songwriter released the CD (May 12) and iTunes (on May 8 of this year) formats of his latest album, Can’t Forget: A Souvenir of the Grand Tour, which features live recordings from his world tours in 2012 and 2013. Last year, Cohen’s Popular Problems was voted by Rolling Stone [...]

    Read more →
  • Europe Sports FIFA Head Says Israel Should Not be Booted From World Soccer Association

    FIFA Head Says Israel Should Not be Booted From World Soccer Association

    JNS.org – Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) head Sepp Blatter said during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that contrary to Palestinian complaints, Israel has not violated any FIFA statutes and should not be suspended from international soccer’s governing body. “We should not come to one federation saying we will exclude them,” said Blatter, the Jerusalem Post reported. “If the national association is fulfilling its obligations then there is no need to intervene,” he said. “I’m on a [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.