A few years ago, I wrote about how the internet can be a wonderful source multiplier, and a way to connect the unconnectable after a photograph I posted provided answers for a daughter about what had become of her father.
Earlier this week, I heard a riveting story on the BBC world service while driving to work. It was the 75th anniversary of the day Bernd Koschland arrived in England. He was recounting his experience as one of 10,000 Jewish children sent to the UK during the Kindertransport for safekeeping on the eve of WWII.
Newshour: Remembering Kindertransport, a rescue mission for Jewish children before World War III was curious to learn more about the man, and to share the interview with friends via social media, so I set about finding him online. The BBC's web site didn't list his name or have a link to just the 10-minute interview. It took a few minutes of googling-- and getting the spelling of his full name (thanks, Twitter #Kindertransport)-- to find a video interview with Bernd and his sister Ruth. I then found his LinkedIn profile, which listed the schools he had attended. From there, it was easy to figure out which Facebook profile was the right Bernd Koschland.
Just before the outbreak of the second world war in 1938, Britain opened its borders to approximately 10,000 Jewish children who were fleeing the Nazi regime in Austria and Germany, and later Poland and Czechoslovakia. Seventy five years ago, the first of those children arrived in what became known as Kindertransport. Newshour's Razia Iqbal spoke to Bernd Koschland, who aged 7, was put on the Kindertransport from Germany by his parents after Kristallnacht, the outbreak of mass violence against Jews and their businesses which led later to the Holocaust. He told her how he remembered that night ...
I sent him the following message on Facebook, hoping to thank him for sharing his story, but never expected a response.
I heard your story on the BBC world service this morning and wanted to thank you for sharing it with the world. I'm a mother of 2 living in Connecticut and it touched me deeply to think about the choice your parents made and how you now live your life. Thank you!This morning, I awoke to a gracious, humble, and thoughtful response. The world needs more people like Bernd. It also needs more people to do the right thing when we encounter injustice.