The widow of a Holocaust survivor sobs on The Repair Shop as the Kindertransport box belonging to her now late husband is restored.
During tonight’s episode (January 27) of the popular BBC programme, Rose and her sister Linda, from Essex, bring in a special box that accompanied one young boy during his escape from Europe before the Second World War.
Rose explains that it belonged to her husband, Jim, who died 10 years ago – and that he had it with him when he was saved from a fate in the concentration camps.
What does Rose say about the Kindertransport box on The Repair Shop?
Rose, speaking to host Jay Blades and expert Suzie Fletcher, says on the show: “It’s Jim’s box, Jim was my husband, he passed away 10 years ago unfortunately.
“But this is his box, he kept what he called his treasures that came from the family.”
She adds: “He came on the first Kindertransport out of Hamburg that was a refugee transport from Nazi Germany, for Jewish children.”
Kindertransport was a nine-month British rescue mission running across Europe before the Second World War.
Around 10,000 youngsters escaped Nazi-occupied countries and settled in the UK though the scheme.
Rose says: “[Jim] was 13 and was fostered out to foster parents in Northern Ireland.”
Tragically, Jim’s family were all murdered after he escaped.
Tragic fate of Jim’s parents and sister
Rose continues: “He had a sister and she was not well at the time, so she had stay behind with their parents and unfortunately, it was not long after that they were taken to the concentration camps, and they were then lost in the gas chambers in Poland.”
It’s Jim, yes… while I’ve got that, I’ve always got Jim.
Jay asks what he was like, and Rose tells him: “He was very well liked, I can say that with all honesty.”
“We loved him, didn’t we,” says Linda.
Rose met her husband while he worked on a farm and they married in 1947.
The box was always precious to him, she explains. It was the only tangible thing he had that his parents had touched.
Rose’s tears on The Repair Shop
Later in the episode, when Suzie reveals the newly refurbished box, Rose gets emotional.
She says, running a hand over the intricate work on the box’s lid: “Oh I can’t believe it, it’s so… look at it.”
Seeing inside it, she sobs as she tells Suzie: “I don’t believe it, I’ve never seen it look like that. Oh I can’t thank you enough.”
She then says, as she wipes away a tear: “It’s Jim, yes… while I’ve got that, I’ve always got Jim.”
Suzie, pleased with the result, replies: “It was not only a privilege and a pleasure to do this, considering the immense story behind it, but also for me to work on such a beautiful piece was the icing on the cake… seeing your smile, that’s everything.”
– The Repair Shop airs tonight on BBC One at 8pm
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