The A-Z of the Boys names is based on lists that were drawn up, either at the point of the Boys departure from continental Europe, or their arrival in the UK. They were supplied by London’s Wiener Holocaust Library, and are held in the Arolsen Archives in Germany.
Some elements of these lists are not 100% accurate as some of the Boys traveled on assumed identities, gave a false date of birth and some of the listed names were originally recorded or spelt incorrectly. It was therefore necessary to cross check their names on further lists made at a later date. Notably the Complete List of Children Under the Care of the Committee for the Care of Children from The Camps, which was drawn up by the Central British Fund in the summer of 1946. In most cases the Boys Displaced Person’s (DP) number remained the same, which facilitated the research.
The A-Z of the Boys names was also cross checked with lists compiled by World Jewish Relief, formerly the Central British Fund. The CBF archives held by World Jewish Relief revealed the details of the fifth group of the Boys. Barbara Barnett’s The Hide and Seek Children (2012) provided crucial background information to this story.
For each of the Boys, these lists provided our team with names, birthplace, age, Displaced Person (DP) number, point of departure for Britain and the date of arrival in the UK. In some cases, this is all the information that is available so far.
In order to create profiles for each of the Boys, the team consulted the online archives at the Arolsen Archives in Germany, the British Library, the UK Imperial War Museum, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the USC Shoah Foundation in the USA and Yad Vashem in Israel, all of which are in the public domain. These archives include testaments, Nazi documentation, survivor registers and lists drawn up by various aid organisations in the immediate aftermath of the Holocaust. Where other sources were used, it is indicated at the end of the relevant profile.
The above archives, in Germany, the UK, USA and Israel, were also used in the research programme for the Map of Birthplaces of the Boys. The website of jewishgen.org helped to identify smaller towns and villages which had been incorrectly spelt on the original lists of names.
The archives at the Wiener Holocaust Library, the London Metropolitan Archives and the Mémorial de la Shoah in Paris shone considerable light on the experience of the Boys and the Boys Journeys to the UK. In Prague, we are grateful for the help of the Presmyl Pitter Archives and the Augustiner Chorherren Museum in Markt Indersdorf in Germany.
The London Metropolitan Archives hold the papers of the Central British Fund. The research team also visited the Quaker archives held at the Society of Friends in London and the Bachad archives at Kibbutz Lavi in Israel. The online archive of the Parkes Institute at Southampton University was also a useful source.
One of our greatest resources was, of course the Boys themselves. The team have interviewed the Boys and their families and are continuing to do so. The team have also interviewed members of the staff who cared for Boys and their memoirs were also a key source of information.
The ’45 Aid Society history archive is a work in progress. If you have any additional information that may help us, please contact us.