A handful of children were part of one of the most triumphant and
tragic stories of the twentieth century - the rescue and placement in
foster homes and in other facilities across America of approximately
1,000 unaccompanied Jewish children while a generation of 1,500,000
children perished in the Holocaust.
An operation, quietly carried out because of fear that a backlash from
isolationist and anti-semitic forces could cause its demise, the
"underground railroad" spanned two continents and an ocean, was fueled
by donations of ordinary people and the work of hundreds of volunteers
and ran for almost eleven years. Yet, mention of it will not be found in
American history books. Holocaust museums and memorials do not
celebrate the lives of these children and the individuals and
organizations who rescued them. There are no movies about it. Its heros
are not heralded and its villains not reproved. Few Americans know of it
and only one scholar has studied and written about the subject. Most of
the 1,000 children themselves are unaware they were part of an organized
effort of private citizens between 1934 and 1945 to bring to America as
many Jewish children as possible nor that this was accomplished in the
face of powerful economic, social, political, religious and
governmental constraints that had such a devastating outcome for the
eleven million people who perished in the Holocaust.
Founded in 2000, the nonprofit organization, One Thousand Children,
Inc., (OTC) is dedicated to documenting the experiences of the 1,000
children saved >from almost certain death during the Holocaust by placing
them with American foster families. It's founders and officers, Iris
Posner and Lenore Moskowitz, using original organizational documents,
have compiled a list of virtually all the "OTC children," which now
numbers about 1,100. Their work is helping to fill an important gap in
the American historical record. OTC will produce materials in print and
film based on research and interviews with OTC children, and their
rescuers where possible, which will make known the events and people
involved in the rescue, resettlement and the course of the childrens'
lives into adulthood.
OTC children live with memories of parents and siblings murdered in
concentration camps, being declared enemy aliens and then drafted into
the armed forces. They had foster families, school mates and teachers
some of whom were supportive and some destructive. Yet, they became
successful professors, businessmen, scientists, physicians, lawyers,
career military officers, statesmen, a rock and roll impresario and
loving husbands, wives and parents of successful second generation
children. OTC will celebrate their lives.