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Laxova part of child rescue effort during Holocaust

By Kelsey Wood
On April 17, 2015

On Tuesday, April 14, students got a rare opportunity to hear Renata Laxova speak at Kirkwood Community College about her personal experience during the Holocaust. 

Laxova was born in 1931 in what is now known as the Czech Republic in a city called Brno. Laxova said when she was about 7 years old her parents told her that she would be going to live with a family in Great Britain until the war was over. 

To be eligible to be a part of the rescue, the children had to be under 18 years old and the families had to pay a fee for each child. Laxova was one of over 10,000 children who were part of the Kindertransport. Most of these children would never see their families again. 

Laxova said she was brought into the program because her mother was one of the few people who believed that Adolf Hitler was going to be a bigger threat than most realized. 

She wrote a letter to the British Parliament and asked if her daughter could be saved. They allowed it and put Laxova’s family in contact with a family who had their own son. Laxova said she heard about the family that she would be living with and became very excited. 

The children were sent out in various ways and they all had tags around their necks with a number that identified them. As the day came closer to when Laxova would leave her parents behind she said she began to feel scared and begged her parents to come with her to England. They told her that they couldn’t but wished they could and that they loved her. 

Laxova said many families did not tell their children why they were being sent away or that they were going away to a summer camp. She said some of the children grew up and began to think that their parents didn’t come to get them because they did not want them. 

“Don’t ever tell an untruth if you know the truth. Try to be honest,” said Laxova. She continued to tell the audience about situations she saw during the Holocaust like seeing her teacher being forced to scrub the sidewalk with a toothbrush and knowing that her family was tortured for information because the Nazis believed they were spies. 

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