Socialist Worker

The Windermere Children

Issue No. 2689

Anna Maciejewska as Sala in the Windemere children

Anna Maciejewska as Sala in the Windemere children (Pic: BBC)


August, 1945. A coachload of children arrive at the Calgarth Estate by Lake Windermere, England.

They are child survivors of the Nazi Holocaust that has devastated Europe’s Jewish population.

Carrying only the clothes they wear and a few possessions, they bear the emotional and physical scars of all they have suffered.

By the lake, the children learn English, play football, ride bikes, express their trauma through painting—and begin to heal.

Some locals taunt them, but they are embraced by others.

Haunted by nightmares, they yearn for news of their loved ones. But in the absence of relatives, the children find family in each other.

The Windermere Children is a stark, moving and ultimately redemptive story of the bonds the children make with one another, and of how the friendships forged at Windermere sustain them as they rebuild their lives.

Available now on bbc.co.uk/iplayer

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