(1938-12-05) Kindertransport Charity Drive
Details for Kindertransport Charity Drive
Summary: There is a drive to raise support for the Jewish refugees.
Date: 05 December 1938
Location: BBC Broadcasting House

A section of the large lobby of Broadcasting House has been set aside for the fundraising drive. Various men and women wear white arm bands marking them out as members of the organising committee. Several journalists can be seen amongst the tables, speaking to individuals about their experiences in Germany and Austria but also about the children themselves. There are table set up for the collection of clothing, educational equipment, toys and food as well as a box for monetary donations.

Various people are wandering around. Muggles more than likely. The committee has blown up photographs of some of the children with their sad little faces and tiny suitcases as they found them in the cities of Germany and Austria. Frightened tear-stained faces stare out at passersby from easels set up for the occassion. A Methodist minister stands off to one side, holding a cup of tea and a saucer in hand as he speaks to an older woman with a rather magnificent bosom and a hideous hat. "Madam, believe me when I tell you that the conditions these children were living in were dire. I have known Jews for many years and never seen the like of it before. When we asked about it the Nazis told us the Jews wanted to live that way. Yet when we spoke to sympathetic Austrians we were told the government had forced the Jews into these…ghettos."

After a while it becomes clear that some of the children helping with the donation tables are the same children in the photographs. None of the babies are present, but a few of the ones just under the age of ten and a handful of teenagers. They look cleaner now, but there is still a hollowness about their gaze and of course when anyone tries to speak to them in English they just nod.

Cooper has collected quite the arsenal of supplies for the charity drive - all collected in a large crate, which she carries under one arm and a large sack of clothing which she has slinged over her shoulder. With her back she opens the door to enter. And between her haul, her oversized red sweater and trousers some of the children present may almost mistake her as Kriss Kingle struggling to get through the door with such a heavy load.

Behind Cooper comes a certain individual wearing a tasteful yet seasonal dove grey pair of slacks and a dark red button down top with a pair of green suspenders, his dove grey trenchcoat worn over the ensemble with a matching fedora as he holds the door open for Cooper as she struggles, arching an eyebrow as he's tugging along his own crate of supplies and goodies, a small smile curving his lips as he just nods politely….oh yes, the individual was Laurence.

The matron's hat warbles precariously on her head as she fishes a handkerchief from her handbag. "You poor thing, Reverened. To see the horror like that. Those poor dears. At least they are safe here and can learn to love the good Lord Jesus." The minister gives the woman a wan smile. "Do pardon me," he says and steps away not bothering to correct the woman about the faith of the refugees.

In her struggle, the blonde auror mutters something somewhat indistinct under her breath. "Good god, this is so hard -groan- to do -grumble- with a leviation-" And the door is opened! Cooper looks up to get a look at her helper and then instantly recognizes his face. "I know you!" she thinks out loud, and in her recognition nearly drops the crate. Luckily enough only a few toys spill out - dolls, teddybears, trains. If they don't think she's Santa by now, then I don't know what. "Thank you by the way," and in she steps through the doors in front of Laurence.

Someone has given a small girl the job of carrying around a bucket to put donations in. The girl's dark hair is worn in twin plaits that hang down her back. She has on a shiny new pink dress with ruffles and puffy sleeves. As coins are dropped into the bucket she curtseys and murmurs, "Danke."

Laurence blinks several times. "Of course and anytime miss." He keeps the door open long enough for Cooper to get all the way through before he takes a deep breath and follows before kneeling down near the door after setting his own crate down as he tries to gather any of the spilled out toys with a soft chuckle and he looks up for a moment before going back to his work.

A portly blonde woman with rosy cheeks bounds over to Laurence and Cooper. "Oh aren't you two just dears." She claps delightedly making her ampleness wobbly slightly. "Let me help you. The children are going to be so happy when Channukah comes." A golden star glitters at her throat. Like many of the others she wears one of the committee armbands. Her pudgy hands are held out to take the toys from Laurence so he can pull his little trolley. "I am Rebekah Badiel, one of the committee members," she says in case they were worried she was some toy snatcher who had snuck in. Her accent is pure London, albeit North London.

"No, no. I've seen you before," Cooper narrows her eyes in thought at Laurence. Magical or Mundane? Oh she can't remember! Seeing her lumpy sweater and the toys that had fallen, a few of the younger refugee children perk up slightly. Yes they're certain is Santa! That is, until Cooper turns around to reveal that behind those thick glasses of hers is just a dorky young woman. "Oh thank you, Rebekah!" she grins brightly at the portly woman, glad to have some assistant. Winding up with a heavy swing, the sack on Cooper's shoulder land with a sudden WAHMP into the woman's arms. It perhaps was too strong of a swing with too much gusto. But there was no other way to pass it off really. "Sorry, if you'd excuse me, I'm in dire need of the lavatory." The auror puts her crate down momentarily and wish a sheepish grin, she clutches her hat on her head, follows the signs and scampers over to drain herself.

"A pleasure to meet you Mrs Badiel…may I call you Rebekah?" Laurence asks kindly as he hands over the few toys before his eyes widen as he turns to see Cooper hand over the toys and he blinks a bit, moving to help her with the bag if she needs help with that. "Whoa…yes…here you go mum, let me help you there…" Arms moving to support under the woman's own arms if allowed.

Rebekah wobbles like a top about to go down but thanks to Laurence she doesn't fall over. "Oooh goodness." She blinks at Cooper. "There is a steward there who can point you towards the conveniences, miss." Looking up at Laurence again as Cooper leaves them Rebekah beams a smile. "Thank you ever so much sir. I will show you where the table for the toys is." With his help she begins to toddle that way.

Laurence takes as much of the bag, if not the whole sack if allowed and he nods quickly. "I bought a few things as well mum, but I can get back to the crate over there in a second. Just some things I made, a few things I purchased…it should be enough, whether is Christmas or Chanukah, plenty for all. What can else can I do for you all tonight my dear?"

One of the children looks up as they approach the table, his eyes widen when he sees all the toys the pair of them are carrying. Rebekah speaks to the boy in Yiddish then looks at Laurence, "Do you speak German, sir?"

Laurence looks to Rebekah and hmms softly, patting himself and his pockets before tugging out a little wooden whistle, painted gold as he offers it to the boy who asks the question, offering a soft greeting in German, before staying very clearly…in German. "I speak German like a sick cow." He makes a face and then winks before looking to Rebekah. "Not fluently…but I had wondered about the children from Poland as well…I do speak Kid though, its a universal language."

The boy takes the whistle with a little trembling hand. He smiles at Laurence and gives it a blow. Rebekah sets the toys on the table and helps unburden Laurence. "We did not bring any children over from Poland this time," she says sadly. "We hope to later but we need more funds."

Laurence hmms softly and nods as he smiles and nods to the boy with an impressed face before taking time to drag his own crate over, opening it and starting to put the trains, little dolls, whistles and yoyos and other such toys on the table, most wooden as he works with Rebekah to set out the toys appropriately and he nods as he listens to the woman. "Then lets hope we get you all some more funds, I spent quite a bit of time in Germany as well."

The boy looks up at Rebekah and speaks to her in Yiddish, whatever he asks she agrees to. The whistle is set aside for now so he can put the other toys into a barrel behind the table. "Indeed, sir indeed," says Rebekah. She looks up at Laurence, "There is a book to sign for anyone interested in updates from the committee." With a nod she indicates a table near the Methodist minister.

"I will make sure I sign it before I leave." Laurence promises Rebekah before looking around curiously to see who else might be about.

She pats his arm and leaves him to it, going off to speak with others. There are possibly around fifty people or so milling about the lobby. Not many have been quite so generous as Laurence and Cooper, but there are more toy donations than other things. The girl with the bucket comes up to Laurence and tugs on his sleeve. She holds up the bucket.

Laurence turns to look at the young girl, kneeling down a bit when she approaches, and he tilts his head to the side. "Hello there little princess. Hmm…you have a bucket and a very beautiful dress, that means you must have a very important job indeed." He fishes out some coins to put in the bucket.
Cooper has connected.

The girl doesn't understand what he is saying but the sentiment translates and when the coins drop into the bucket she says, "Danke." There above her on an easel is a photograph of this very same girl looking frightened with a Star of David sewn onto her coat.

Laurence looks between the girl and the picture and then back to the girl and he smiles a bit to himself before removing his hat briefly to run his fingers through his hair before continuing to take the journey through and around the people gathered.

A much more relieved Cooper steps out from the back hallway where the ladies room was located. Ready to rejoin the crowd, the little girl with the money bucket suddenly meanders her way coming for Laurence. The tiny lady is so small, @emit Cooper hardly recognizes her, and when she does the auror jumps as if she just saw a rat. "Oh uhm…," she digs around her trouser pockets to pull out a bit muggle coins and place them in the bucket, "Here … you go … schatzi…" The words come out in fluent German, but she seems rather uneasy by the small girl and her youthful eyes.

When Cooper speaks in German the girl's wide eyes light up. She responds in rapid fire German, "I thank you, miss. Everyone here has been most kind. I am staying with Rabbi Badiel and his wife," she nods towards Rebekah.

Circulating the room it is possible to hear the various people discussing the children. Some were there in Germany and Austria in the ghettos. Others were helping to transport the children. There of course are a few who, like the matron with the impressive hat and bosom, rather hope their time in Britain will turn the children into good Christians.

Laurence has to snort softly at the comment about turning children into Good Christians and such but he's busy finding a cup of tea, pausing sometimes to pull a little whistle or tiny doll or yo yo or some small animal shaped figurine from an inner pocket or from a coat pocket or messenger bag slot to offer and hand to another child, occasionally its a sweet.

Cooper was looking to drop her coins in and run off to some adults, but the girl's eyes light up so brightly. It makes the auror even a bit more uneasy, especially since kids talk so fas. "Ahh, that's good to hear. You're happy with them?" she replies to the girl, "And your parents? Will they also be coming here soon? Or are there staying somewhere else temporarily until you're reunited?" Cooper must sadly admit she hasn't been up to date with the detail's of muggle governments Kindertransport campaign. To Laurence, Cooper throws a slightly helpless look that seems to say 'It's tiny! And it's talking to me! Halp!'

At the mention of her parents the girl's face falls. "No, our parents are not coming." She turns away then, taking her bucket and walking over to Rebekah to hide her face in the woman's skirts.

Laurence turns in time to see Cooper strike out with the mini-person and he cringes a bit before selecting a cup of hot tea, making his way to Cooper side and offering the cup as he leans in and shakes his head a bit. "They only bite if you provoke them." He winks before pulling a candy cane out of a pocket and offering it to the woman, nodding to the girl. "I recognized a couple of words, including parents…so here, go and offer her the candy, compliment her dress and how pretty she looks tonight…tell her you understand she has to be very brave and she's doing a wonderful job collecting the donations to help everybody and you only wish you could be as brave as she was when you were her age."

The little gifts from Laurence are accepted graciously as are those from everyone who has come in. As things wind down the Methodist minister clears his throat then taps his spoon against his cup and saucer to get everyone's attention. "I wish to thank all of you from coming. For giving your care and support to the children of Germany. It is our deepest wish to bring thousands, tens of thousands of children out of harm's way and into Britain."

Cooper blinks. Blinks, blinks, blinks. And then Laurence comes steps up. "Their parents aren't coming…did you know about this?" She asks the broommaker with a frown and accepts the candy cane before adding. "How about I tell her on your behalf? Come on." She heads over to Rebekah, summoning Laurence to come with her, mostly because she feels awkward approaching a kid on her own. "Uhm…i'm sorry if I upset you…Schatzi," she says in German offering the striped candy. "My friend here wanted to say that he thinks you're very brave…and that you're doing a wonderfully important job. We both wish we were as brave as you when we were your age." She opens her mouth to ask Rebekah something futher but Mr. Minister is making an announcement.

Rebekah looks at the pair of them and smiles but as the reverend speaks she waits, holding up a finger. When the man has finished she looks at them again. "That is very kind," she says to Cooper in German. The woman accepts the candy and gives it to the girl. Switching to English she says, "The government did not want the parents to come and the Nazis would have refused to release them. They were reluctant to let us bring the children."

Laurence just shrugs a shoulder. "I noticed they didn't mention them, aye." He nods sadly to Cooper before following her to the child, nodding sagely as he takes a deep breath when the woman confirms the horrible news before he turns to pay attention to Mr Minister.

That bit of information makes Cooper's brow furrow. She runs her fingers over her mouth. "So then … they're separated indefinitely." There's a hole in her stomach. "Do you know who or where I can go to, in order to get more involved in things. The transport perhaps, or I don't know translation services…" She pauses and then clarifies, "I'm not sure if i can … erm … take in a child. Too many sharp corners in my flat you see. Not child proof … but surely there must be other ways to help …"

Rebekah pulls a handkerchief from inside the sleeve of her jumper and offers it to Cooper, as the woman is clearly upset. She does so wordlessly. "There are many things you can do to help, many many things. The Nazis they want money. Gold. So we buy gold to buy the children. But the families here they need food. The children need clothing."

Laurence stays at Cooper's side, listening closely as he tilts his head to the side and looks thoughtful as he listens to the two women discuss the current situation as he takes a deep breath and nods sympathetically, a determined set of his jaw.

Cooper politely declines the hanky with a raised hand. She's a gentleman! Gentlemen don't shed tears … usually. "Gold," she grimaces at the idea of giving the Nazi government anything. But her heart's so broken she's almost ready to give Rebekah all her Galleons right then and there. Not a smart idea though so instead she asks Laurence for a favor to hold her back, "Do you have anymore of those candy canes? Cane I have one." Turning back to Rebekah she asks, "This little girl, what's her first and last name? And do you have any idea where she's from in Germany?" The gears are already turning in Cooper's head.

Rebekah tucks the handkerchief away. "Her name is Hannah Prenslau and she is from Liepzig. We had thousands of children who are waiting to come over once we have the funds." She hugs the little girl who looks up when she hears her name. Addressing Cooper and Laurence again, the kind-hearted blonde enquires, "Have you any more questions? It is getting a bit late and we are meant to go take the children to a special party in the morning."

"I'm known around London…and sometimes further out doing what I can to help out around the house. I'm a carpenter by trade, and do handyman work as well so if any of the families need help in that way, repairing or fixing things…it'll be free of charge." Laurence promises softly before exhaling softly before shaking his head. "I only if Hannah could have any gift in any shop or anything in the world, what would it be?" He asks, addressing the young girl.

Cooper mouths the name slightly, committing the name and location to memory. "No no, I've no more inquiries. It was a pleasure, Miss Badiel. I'll be in touch," she nods and hesitantly again turns to the little girl asking on Laurence's behalf in German, "My friend would like to know, if you could pick any gift from any shop in the world, what would it be?"

Little Hannah peeks out from around Rebekah's comfortable girth and looks up at Cooper and Laurence, "I had a doll with pretty dark hair." Rebekah strokes the girl's own dark head. "Thank you both for coming," she says to them."

"She says she had a doll, will nice dark hair," Cooper translates for Laurence. She shoves her hands into her trouser pockets as if looking for something. "Hannah, it was nice to meet you," she says a final farewell in Deutsch, and with a nod to the other two adults she heads out of the BBC, slipping a cheap cigarette between her lips.

Laurence submits that to memory before nodding slowly and smiling softly to Hannah and waggling his fingers at the girl and nodding before looking to Cooper. "Thank you…I probably could try to speak German, but the children would probably glare at my pronounciation." A small smile before he turns back to Rebekah. "Thank you, mum…you are all doing amazing work here and I only hope we'll be given the honor of doing the same." Then he turns, watching Cooper heading out and he nods to himself.

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