AT THE age of 15 Ursula Michel stepped onto a train and escaped from Nazi Germany.

Just days before the outbreak of the Second World War Ursula, whose father was Jewish, was in one of the last groups of children to make their way to safety on the Kindertransport.

She went on to live a long life in England - but her parents and sister died in the Holocaust.

Ursula was one of 10,000 children rescued from Nazi occupied Europe in the nine months leading up to the outbreak of war.

Now her story will be retold by her daughter Judith Rhodes who will present a short film - The Little Suitcase - at an event in Rawdon organised by Leeds Quakers.

Judith, a retired librarian, from Guiseley, said: “My mother came to England on a Kindertransport from Germany aged 15, at the end of August 1939. Her father was Jewish and an observant Jew, her mother was Christian but racially half-Jewish. Thus the whole family was very much at risk of persecution despite the fact that my mother and her younger sister were also baptised Christians.

“My grandparents and young aunt did not manage to leave Germany and were deported and murdered. My mother settled well into a kind and loving foster-family in North Staffordshire, but it goes without saying that what she experienced left very deep scars.”

Judith’s presentations and discussions, mainly in schools. started with the work of a group of people in her mother’s home town of Ludwigshafen am Rhein, in Southern Germany.

“This group is responsible for organising the laying of the memorial stones ( Stolpersteine, Stumbling Blocks) in the city, and they undertake a lot of Holocaust memorial and educational work there,” she said.

“The impetus for the film came from them – and indeed they were responsible for commissioning and making it. I go to Germany several times a year to pursue this work with them.

“Incidentally, the phrase Stumbling Blocks doesn’t mean that one trips over them (they are laid flush with the pavement), but rather that one’s thoughts and memories stumble or trip.”

The Little Suitcase will be presented along with music by Jewish exiles and time for questions. It will take place at 7.30pm on Sunday, August 12 at Rawdon Friends Meeting House, Quakers Lane LS19 6HU. Admission is free and there will be a collection for Amnesty International. Further information is available from Barbara Parry at or on 0113 2503867.