Kindertransport veteran urges U-turn on Syrian child refugees


A former Kindertransport refugee has called on David Cameron to accept 3,000 unaccompanied child refugees from Syria.

Sir Erich Reich, chairman of Kindertransport-Association of Jewish Refugees, said the Prime Minister should do more to "help some of the most vulnerable victims" of the war.

In a letter, Sir Erich urged Mr Cameron to "demonstrate compassion", the BBC said.

Mr Cameron has previously said the UK has made a commitment to take 20,000 refugees and a further 3,000, mainly unaccompanied children, from outside Europe.

But this would likely exclude unaccompanied children who have already made it to Europe.

Born in Vienna in 1935, Sir Erich was one of 10,000 children sent from Nazi-occupied Europe to safety in the UK before the start of the Second World War. He arrived in the UK in August 1939 and never saw his parents again.

In the letter, Sir Erich said he learned of the rejection of resettlement proposals "with great sadness".

He said: "I strongly urge you and your colleagues to reconsider how we can intervene to help some of the most vulnerable victims of an internecine conflict that has claimed the lives of thousands of people and displaced millions.

"The echoes of the past haunt many of my fellow Kinder and I whose fate similarly rested with members of the British parliament.

"I feel it is incumbent on us to once again demonstrate our compassion and human-kindness to provide sanctuary to those in need."