Abstract

This study examines the experiences of a group of Jewish German and Austrian children who were sent on the Kindertransport to France in an effort to escape Nazi persecution. Using oral history interviews from the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive, written testimonies, personal papers, and archival collections from organizations such as the OEuvre de Secours aux Enfants (OSE), this study analyzes the children's experiences at the Château de la Guette children's home in France and their subsequent time at the children's home Hôtel des Anglais in La Bourboule. This thesis examines the social and spatial dimensions of the children's journey to find home and flee Nazi persecution via France. While research has more extensively covered other children's rescue efforts such as the Kindertransport to Great Britain, this thesis demonstrates that the migrations of children fleeing the Holocaust via France were diverse and often characterized by frequent movement due to the historical context of France during World War II. In conjunction with a digital project, this thesis maps and discusses four paths taken by the La Guette children during the war: life in hiding in France, illegal flight over the border into Switzerland, deportation, and immigration to the United States. This research also examines the impact of children's homes on the pre-war, wartime, and post-war experiences of Jewish refugee children fleeing Nazism. After the La Guette group dispersed, many of the children stayed in contact with one another. Through survivor reunions and other commemorative activities years later, many survivors maintained a connection with their peers, educators, the Rothschild family, and others associated with their time in France and constructed memory of their wartime experiences. Ultimately, the La Guette case shows the long-lasting impact of children's homes on the lives of Jewish refugee children fleeing the Holocaust.

Graduation Date

2018

Semester

Summer

Advisor

French, Scot

Degree

Master of Arts (M.A.)

College

College of Arts and Humanities

Department

History

Degree Program

History; Public History

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0007235

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0007244

Language

English

Release Date

August 2018

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

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