Research conducted by a University of Wolverhampton academic into the Lord Baldwin Fund for Refugees will feature in a major national exhibition.
Dr Richard Hawkins, Reader in History, has conducted research into the fund, which financed the Kindertransport.
The National Trust’s Upton House’s Banking For Victory: A Country House At War! exhibition will tell the story of the Warwickshire property during the Second World War and Lord Bearsted’s links with the Baldwin Fund for Refugees.
Viscount Bearsted, the owner of Upton House during the Second World War and a former Chairman of the Shell Transport and Trading Company, was one of the trustees of the Baldwin Fund which raised over half a million pounds from the British public to help fund the Kindertransport. Earlier in the 1930s Bearsted also helped raise £2 million in funds from the American Jewish community to help fund the emigration of Germany’s persecuted Jews.
The day after war was declared, Upton House became the new headquarters for the Bearsted family bank, M.Samuel and Co., and 22 members of staff moved in. The Bearsted’s wartime activities were concentrated in London. Lord Bearsted’s collection of Old Master paintings was shipped off to safety and stored in Welsh Slate Mines with the National Gallery’s Collection.
These three interwoven stories of Upton House during the Second World War will be featured in the exhibition: the Banking story, the Art story and the Family story. Lord Bearsted’s work in helping initiate the Kindertransport and working as a board member of Lord Baldwin’s Fund for Refugees is an important part of the family story.
Dr Hawkins said: “I am very pleased that my work will feature in the exhibition and that Lord Bearsted’s efforts to save the persecuted German Jewish community is being given recognition.”
The exhibition runs from 27 March 2015 until October 2016.
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