Bertha Bracey, who’s known as a “British Hero of the Holocaust,” was an English teacher and aid worker that helped organize relief for the starving and impoverished during World War II. A Christian, Bracey participated in Quaker organizations that provided aid to thousands of refugees, including children, during the war. Bracey also saved countless Jewish children, orphans, and refugees during and after the war.
In 1921, Bracey quit teaching and joined a Quaker center in Vienna, where she started youth clubs. Bracey later moved to Berlin and began organizing aid for the people, especially children. Bracey soon became the leader responsible for the relief operations in both Germany and Holland. Several years later, she became more involved in refugee work and headed an emergency committee.
Bracey began to see the dangers for Jewish people in Germany as Hitler and the Nazis grew in power and influence. So in 1933, she initiated the “Kindertransport.” Bracey met with the British Home Secretary and convinced him to quickly accept Jewish children as refugees. Bracey led the team that was in charge of caring for these children. She even started a school for the children. After the war, Bracey continued to help children and many other displaced people in Germany.
CENTERED ON CHRIST
Bracey, a devout Quaker Christian, felt convicted and called to love and care for others. Bracey once stated at a yearly Society of Friends (Quaker) Committee meeting, “What are the basic and essential tasks laid on us as Friends? We are not merely a peace society, or humanitarian welfare organization. The Religious Society of Friends is a community of men and women who are striving to express in their lives their Faith in the direct relationship of man to God... There can be no gap between our religious conviction and our actions. Others need us, and need to have faith in us. As a religious society politics are not our concern, because no moral regeneration can be brought about by the state... The path of non violence is not one of weakness; it demands courage, direction and the utmost personal sacrifice.”