Focus Questions

What does this doll remind you of? How is it different to toys today?

How would you describe the condition of the doll? What does this tell you about it?

Why do you think this doll was special?

Have you noticed...How big the doll is? Click to reveal answer

Actually the doll is smaller than the size of your hand which made it easy to carry secretly on the train.

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Baby doll

Baby Doll

Baby Doll

This baby doll was secretly taken to England from Germany on the Kindertransport in May 1939 by a young girl called Edith Rothschild

Baby doll
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The Object

Object Name: Baby doll in knitted clothes
Date: 1930s
Catalogue Number: 2007.36.2
Materials: Ceramic, thread, wool
Size: 10.2 cm x 4.7cm
On display in the Jewish Museum? Yes

  • This baby doll is similar to toys that many children would have had in the 1930s but this doll made a special journey
  • Look closely at what the doll is made from and how it is damaged. The doll is ceramic which makes it delicate and heavier than plastic. The face is painted and the clothes are handmade. There are scratches to the paint, she is missing a sock and her clothes are frayed with holes. The joins between the head, body and limbs can bend and the word 'Germany' is printed on the back of her neck.

The Story

The Journey
This doll belonged to Edith Rothschild who was born in Frankfurt in 1925. On 11 May 1939 14 year old Edith came to Britain on the Kindertransport carrying the doll with her. She had to smuggle the doll into her luggage because her mother told her she was too old for dolls.

The History
In 1933 Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party came to power in Germany and from the start openly singled out the Jews. On 9 November 1938, the Nazis organized a violent attack against Jews across Germany, known as Kristallnacht (the night of broken glass). Kristallnacht marked a turning point – many Jews were now desperate to leave Germany and move somewhere safer.
After Kristallnacht the British government allowed more people to move to Britain from Germany and Austria. This rescue mission became known as the Kindertransport. Between December 1938 and September 1939 nearly 10,000 Jewish refugee children were admitted into Britain.
When Edith arrived in Britain she went to live with a foster family in Cambridge. Her sister, who had come to Britain on a Kindertransport a couple of months earlier, stayed with a family in the same town. In 1941 Edith went to live with her aunt who was living in London. Her father emigrated to England in 1939, and in 1943 Edith was finally able to live with him. Her mother Martha was not able to escape Germany and did not survive the war.

Digital Takeaway

Download this PDF called 'Investigating the Holocaust - Poem'