Kindertransport child refugee who fled Nazis to retrace journey
An 80-year-old refugee who arrived in Britain from Nazi Europe as a toddler is taking part in a cycle ride to mark the rescue of 10,000 children.
Paul Alexander will retrace the first journey of the Kindertransport rescue for the 80th anniversary.
The rescue was organised after the anti-Jewish violence of Kristallnacht in Germany in November 1938.
An evacuation of mostly Jewish children to Britain saw the first arrivals in Harwich, Essex, in December 1938.
The effort continued until war broke out nine months later.
Most of the cyclists will be descendants of people rescued by the Kindertransport, but Mr Alexander experienced it firsthand.
He was 19 months old when his mother handed him to a British volunteer nurse, arriving in England six weeks before the outbreak of the war.
Mr Alexander said he had no recollection of the journey, and his first memories were of being in the London Underground during bombing.
His father was released from Buchenwald detention camp on condition that he left the country, and his mother managed to escape to Britain days before the outbreak of war.
Mr Alexander said the three of them were reunited when he was aged four or five, but he knew he was one of the lucky ones.
He said more than half of children on the Kindertransport did not see their parents again.
"I was saved from the Holocaust, sent to a lovely country where I grew up integrated into British life and I'm a lucky guy," he said.
Mr Alexander qualified as a solicitor in London aged 24 and moved to Israel, where he still lives, in the 1970s after meeting his wife.
On Sunday a group of 42 cyclists will retrace the route of the first journey from Berlin and the Hook of Holland, taking a ferry to Harwich before arriving at London Liverpool Street on 22 June.
The cyclists are aiming to raise more than £100,000 to support World Jewish Relief's work with people living in poverty around the globe.