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In the nine months just prior to World War II nearly 10,000 children were sent, without their parents, to Great Britain from Nazi Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland. These children were rescued by the Kindertransport movement. Most of the children never saw their parents again. Those courageous parents who had the strength to send their children off to an unknown fate soon boarded transports taking them to concentration camps.

The story of the Kindertransports is an extraordinary piece of history-- unknown far too long. The children who lived the trauma and terror of being uprooted from secure homes tell amazing stories. Into the darkness of the Holocaust it is important to add true tales that are life affirming.

Melissa Hacker, a documentary filmmaker, has produced, directed and edited My Knees Were Jumping; Remembering the Kindertransports,the first feature-length documentary on this important but hidden story of the Holocaust. The filmmaker has lifelong, intimate knowledge of this story, as her mother was one of the children rescued from Vienna by the Kindertransport movement in January 1939.

What People Are Saying About My Knees Were Jumping

Melissa Hacker's documentary, "My Knees Were Jumping: Remembering the Kindertransports," is about the Jewish children who were saved by emigrating to Britain (from Germany, Austria, Poland and Czechoslovakia) 60 years ago. Since Ms. Hacker is the daughter of one such emigre -- the costume designer Ruth Morley, an Academy Award nominee for "The Miracle Worker" -- she approaches her poignant subject matter in a particularly earnest, intimate way. In this gentle documentary, Ms. Hacker's mother and others who shared the young refugees' experience speak at length about its impact...
-- Janet Maslin, The New York Times (2 December 1998)

...the documentaries seem in some ways more provocative than many of the dramatic features. Some that have stirred interest are...My Knees Were Jumping: Remembering the Kindertransports, about the escape of Jewish children from Germany just before WW II...
-- Bernard Weinraub, The New York Times
(Reporting from the Sundance Film Festival)

Surviving participants vividly recall the excitement and the downside of this "adventure".....These stories are heart-rending....Editing weaves together talking-head interviews, newsreel footage, old photos and other material to sketch far-reaching psychological and historical reverberations. Tech package is crisp and pro.... Fests, educational and broadcast outlets will beckon.
-- Dennis Harvey, Weekly Variety
(Reporting from The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival)

Melissa Hacker's My Knees Were Jumping: Remembering the Kindertransports narrates the trauma of history as a tragedy of generational loss....Narration by Joanne Woodward is intercut with Hacker's own personal reflections on the impact of the Kindertransports on her mother and family....the film is not just about her specific story; it is also about family and the legacy of experience in the broadest sense.
-- Yosha Goldstein, Filmmaker Magazine feature
(Special Sundance issue)

This Web site

This Web site is a companion to the film and includes information about the history of the Kindertransports and links to useful on-line resources. For more information or to be put on the Knees e-mail mailing list, send e-mail to