A POIGNANT statue remembering the children saved from Nazi Germany by the Kindertransport could go on display in Harwich, if a project is successful.

The sculpture, which could cost £500,000, would commemorate the child refugees who escaped Adolph Hitler’s reign of terror in parts of Europe ahead of the Second World War.

The huge humanitarian rescue saw 10,000 children travel from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia to the safety of Britain to save them from the Holocaust.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Hundreds of these children arrived to the safety of Harwich on December 2, 1938.

To remember Harwich’s role in the mission a group has launched the Harwich Kindertransport Project with the aim of having a memorial sculpture made for the town.

Harwich Town councillors were informed about the project by its founder Nigel Spender at its full council meeting on Tuesday night.

Mr Spencer said: “The Kindertransport played a major role in Harwich and it saved many lives and the rest is history.

“It’s ridiculous all our main cities are linked to the Kindertransport, but in Harwich we have nothing.

“So I got a group of people together and for two years we have been busy planning to see what we can do to remember the Kindertransport.”

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

The group is made up of Michael Levy, a Kindertransport specialist, Sue Daish, Graham Crame and David Whittle, all from the Harwich Society, Karen Van Coevorden, a Holocaust advisor, Sir Eric Reich, from the Association of Jewish Refugees, and sculptor Ian Wolters.

Mr Spencer said one idea is to build a Meisler-style statue which would cost about £500,000.

These statues are metal with marble bases in the style of Frank Meisler who designed a series of Kindertransport statues in London, Berlin, the Hook of Holland and Gdansk, in Poland before he died.

He was a Kindertransport evacuee who fled from Berlin to London Liverpool Street Station as a child.

Mr Spender added: “If the Government wants to fund it, it can be done.

“The second idea is to design our own particular memorial with children in the statue.

“Ian Wolters who is an upcoming sculptor has come along and has gone away to work out the cost.

“This could cost about £160,000 rather than £500,000.

“We need to work out the best course of action.”

The proposed site for the statue is in the mayor’s garden in Harwich, near the Park Pavilion.

“It’s a beautiful area full of flowers and birds,” Mr Spencer added.

“The kinder came from ghastly situations to our country and we should be proud we were able to let these children in to our town.”

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

The second phase of the project would be to build a Kindertransport education centre to teach youngsters about the mission and the Holocaust.

Garry Calver, Harwich Town councillor, said: “This is a wonderful idea.”

Charlie Powell, Harwich Town councillor, added: “It is something we must take part in and it has my full support.”

Harwich Town councillor Ivan Henderson added: “The sculpture will remember the time the people of Harwich opened their doors to child refugees.”