A FREE educational programme, which highlights Harwich’s pivotal role in the Kindertransport rescue, is being offered to schools across the country.

The lesson plan, which was produced by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and the Harwich Kindertransport Memorial and Learning Trust, will encourage students to learn more about the mission which rescued 10,000 children from the Nazis.

The port of Harwich was the main point of entry for most for the children who came to the UK between 1938 and 1939, the majority of whom were Jewish.

The school programme is offering free historic photographs and rare BBC audio of the children talking about their fears after being sent away from their families in Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia.

It also includes virtual activities, films and materials for assemblies.

Mike Levy, chairman of the Harwich Kindertransport Memorial and Learning Trust, said: “It is great for Harwich to know schools will get to know about this memorial and start thinking about its importance but also about links between the past and the present.

“The Kindertransport, which was the largest mission of its kind, does provide a very interesting model for children to look at because this was a remarkable rescue mission done on a voluntary level.

“We could say that British people rose to the challenge in 1939 and we are hoping the education materials will help bring parents and their children up to speed with what had happened. “

The school programme, however, is just one of the initiatives the Harwich Trust has started to raise awareness on the rescue mission.

A fundraising appeal has also been launched for the installation of a bronze statue to commemorate the child refugees.

Sculptured by artist Ian Wolter, the statue will show five children descending from a ship’s gangplank.

It will be placed at Harwich Quay in 2022, along with a memorial bench and explanation boards, which will be unveiled at the Mayors Garden in Dovercourt.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard: Sculpturer Ian WolterSculpturer Ian Wolter

Nigel Spencer, who is one of the founders of the Harwich Kindertransport Memorial and Learning Trust, said: “The idea is that when people arrive in Harwich they will visit the Harwich Museum, walk down to see the statue, learn about the Kindertransport and then come to the Mayors Garden and that’s the bit of contemplation.

“And the programme will help young minds endeavour to understand the scale of what happened during the Holocaust.

“Our objective is that through education they will also be encouraged to learn from the past and be motivated to examine today's refugee challenges.”

To download the school programme visit hmd.org.uk

To donate for the sculpture visit kindertransport-memorial.org.