Prix Europa 2020 - Best European TV Movie Of The Year

A summer’s night in 1945. A coachload of children are in transit from Carlisle airport to the Calgarth Estate in Lake Windermere, a remote and picturesque corner of the English countryside. They are child survivors of the Nazi Holocaust that has all but wiped out Europe’s Jews and, for these particular children, their entire families too.

They carry only the clothes they wear and a few meagre possessions, along with the physical and psychological scars of all they have suffered. They do not know what awaits them in Britain and naturally they are fearful: they don’t speak English and, having spent many years living in death camps, have missed out on a proper education. But the children are also excited, for the war is over and there is always hope that the future will be kinder to them than the past.

The children were brought to the UK courtesy of the Jewish philanthropist Leonard Montefiore, who had been travelling in Europe in the immediate aftermath of the war. He saw first-hand the devastation of Jewish communities and the lost children who were the living casualties of the Nazi regime. The British government granted up to 1,000 children a refuge, a place to rehabilitate and grow strong again. 300 of these children were brought to live in Lake Windermere for four months, and for many of them came the hope that the UK might become their future home.