The Last Train to Lon­don: A Novel

January 1, 2013

Based on true events, The Last Train to Lon­don tells the sto­ry of a Dutch­woman who, work­ing with British and Aus­tri­an Jews, faces down Adolf Eich­mann to res­cue thou­sands of chil­dren from Nazi-occu­pied Vien­na. In 1936, the Nazis are lit­tle more than brutish bores to fif­teen-year old Stephan, the son of a wealthy and influ­en­tial Jew­ish fam­i­ly, and bud­ding play­wright whose play­ground extends from Vienna’s streets to its intri­cate under­ground tun­nels. Stephan’s best friend, bril­liant Žofie-Helene, is a Chris­t­ian whose moth­er edits a pro­gres­sive, anti-Nazi news­pa­per. But the two ado­les­cents’ care­free inno­cence is shat­tered when the Nazis’ take con­trol. Dutch­woman Tru­us Wijs­muller risks her life, smug­gling Jew­ish chil­dren out of Nazi Ger­many — a mis­sion that becomes even more dan­ger­ous after the Anschluss, as bor­ders close to refugees des­per­ate to escape the Reich. After Britain pass­es a mea­sure to take in child refugees, Tante Tru­us” dares to approach Adolf Eich­mann in a race against time to bring chil­dren like Stephan, his broth­er Wal­ter, and Žofie-Helene on a per­ilous jour­ney to an uncer­tain future. This book will be pub­lished in over a dozen countries.

Discussion Questions

The Last Train to Lon­don is a beau­ti­ful­ly writ­ten book about the Kinder­trans­port and the ter­ri­ble events that led up to it. It is the sto­ry of one amaz­ing Dutch woman who risked her life to bring most­ly Jew­ish chil­dren to Hol­land so they could reach safe­ty in Eng­land. The book gives a clear pic­ture of what life was like under the Reich. It shows that rich and poor and the sick and dying were all pun­ished for the sin of being Jew­ish and how no one was pun­ished for tor­tur­ing, steal­ing from and mur­der­ing the vic­tims. It also tells the sto­ry of how par­ents and chil­dren sac­ri­ficed for each other.