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The Children of Willesden Lane

Resources for a Classroom Study of The Children of Willesden Lane







Study Guides




               - Download Musical Selections related to the book.

               - Selection of Classroom Videos showing schools teaching the book.



Historical Background


           (Note: Hedi Pope is from Vienna.)


           A short video about the events leading up to the Kindertransport.

           An educational supplement to Pomona College Theater Department's

           Kindertransport by Diane Samuels.

           Background information for classroom use.

       Wagner-Rogers Bill

           A lesson plan for middle and high school students created by the American

           Immigration Law FoundationIncludes historical background.



PowerPoints / Prezi



First Person Testimonies

           Survivor Ken Wilde recalls his memories of Kristallnacht and the Kindertransport.




"Into the Arms of Strangers"

Kindertransport Premovie (11:58)

           A short video about the events leading up to the Kindertransport.

           An educational supplement to Pomona college Theater Department's

           Kindertransport by Diane Samuels.

Video: Kristallnacht (5:22)




Student Exercises


Universe of Obligation


Anti-Jewish Regulations

Using the book, find examples of regulations against Jews that occurred in Austria.  Enter these on the Austria vs. Germany STUDENT chart along with the page number and paragraph where you found them.  Now using the "Anti-Jewish Regulations 1933-1945," find regulations that are comparable to those that occurred in Austria, and list the dates that they occurred in Germany.  Teachers should discuss the time frame of these measures and how they impacted family lives.


Rights and Freedoms

Teachers should discuss the erosion of freedoms for the Jews beginning in 1933.  Students should then be given the "Rights and Freedoms Worksheet" to ponder the rights they consider most important.


A Nation's Choice

Split the class into debate groups to argue for and against the Wagner-Rogers bill, which, if passed might have created a U.S. equivalent of the Kindertransport.  Have students conduct their own research to gain an understanding of the quotas set by the U.S. Immigration Laws of 1921, 1924, and 1929.  Students should also become familiar with the reasons given at the time by the U.S. government and the general public for restricting entrance to refugees of all ages. The students may choose to compare and contrast this situation with that in Great Britain, including the British government's decision to accept the children of the Kindertransport.



Write about a time when you departed from a place that was very important to you.  What and who made it difficult to leave?  Consider the lessons or values your parents, guardians, or friends have taught you throughout your life.  What qualities in those people do you appreciate, do you take for granted?  How have they prepared you to face the world?  How might you offer a tribute to one of these individuals?


Parenting From Afar

Write a letter to a parent or guardian, or to someone who is important to you who lives far away.  Once you have completed this letter, shorten it to 25 words, including salutation and closing—the limit on the postcards that the Red Cross could deliver during the war. Can you convey the same message?  How does it change?


Internment of Enemy Aliens

Write a persuasive essay arguing against or in defense of the British government’s internment and relocation of “enemy aliens.”  Research the arrest and forced internment of Japanese-Americans from the West Coast of the United States during World War II. Compare and contrast the motivations of the governments, public response in the two countries, and the outcomes of both acts of internment.



Mona Golabek, The Pianist of Willesden Lane




Student Project







Page last updated:  July 9, 2014