Safe Haven

Safe Haven is a life size, bronze sculpture of five Kindertransport refugee children walking down a gangplank, completing their journey to Harwich just before the outbreak of the Second World War.

Each child is portrayed with a different emotion representing the storm of emotions they must have felt at the end of their journey by train and then ship. The figures are also engraved with quotes of four of the refugees describing their first experience of the UK.

“I felt I was safe. A new life was beginning!”  Elsa Shamash

“A little girl cries and keeps repeating ‘Mutti Mutti’. I put my arm round her and tell her she’ll see her soon”.  Bea Green

“Everyone tried so hard to ease our ordeal and make us feel more at home”.  Bernard Grünberg

“The sun was shining, the air clean, the grass greener than I had ever seen it, and if ever freedom was a tangible thing, it was so that morning in Harwich”.  Rabbi John Rayner

Guests at the unveiling ceremony included more than 30 refugees who arrived on the Kindertransport in 1938 and 1939.  Dame Stephanie Shirley, who was five years old when she arrived in Harwich on a Kindertransport, unveiled the memorial.

Safe Haven was unveiled on the Harwich Quayside, Thursday 1 September 2022.

About Ian Wolter

Ian Wolter is an award winning artist and sculptor. His public works include Safe Haven, the memorial to the Kindertransport, in Harwich and the Children of Calais in Saffron Walden. He’s the recipient of the Arte Laguna Prize (Venice), RomArt Sculpture Prize (Rome) and the Sustainability Art Prize (UK).