Kindertransport II


Family trees broken by the ‘kindertransport’

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This painting expresses Abigail’s intense sympathy for the plight of the uprooted Kindertransport children. It portrays another bronze memorial by Frank Meisler erected in Bahnhof Friedrichstrasse in Berlin entitled “Trains to life, trains to death”. The memorial is of a group of sombre children standing waiting for their train in a state of obedient fatalism which, in reality, was not always the case. They are holding their suitcases and paltry personal belongings, including toys and a violin.

Abigail has placed the memorial at the centre of the painting inside a large Magen David that is encased within a mandala. On the six points of the Magen David she has painted different forms of the yellow “Jude” identification labels that Jews were forced to wear, and she has filled the outer edges of the mandala with dancing, winged angel figures whose playfulness contrasts with the glumness of the children. At the bottom of the picture two unknown hands cradle an uprooted tree, and on either side a family tree is shedding leaves that are being caught by another unknown pair of outstretched hands below.

While the uprooted tree and the falling leaves of the family trees point to a severing of the children’s family ties and their permanent removal from their families, the two pairs of unknown protective hands suggest the liberating and protective role played by the Kindertransport initiative and the wider British public. This benevolence towards the children is enhanced by the mandala, the playful angel figures, the toy puppets and the presence of the G-dhead above in the form of the benign face of the sun above that is being presented with red roses of compassion by two angel figures.

Additional information

Artwork Option

A4 Print (approx 21 x 30 cm), A3 Print (approx 30 x 42 cm), A2 Print (approx 42 x 60 cm), A1 Print (approx 60 x 84 cm)


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