Little girl who fled Nazi Germany to live in Edinburgh remembered

Stories of Jewish immigrants who made Scotland their home have been brought to life in a series of short films.
Stories of Jewish immigrants who made Scotland their home have been brought to life in a series of short films.
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DORRITH Marianne Oppenheim was seven and a half years old when she boarded a train from Nazi-occupied Germany in 1930.

Clutching a toy dog and with a red ribbon in her hair she left her weeping parents on the platform not knowing that she would never see them again.

Dorrith Sim, who wrote a book about her childhood journey in 1939 from Germany to her new home in Edinburgh.

Dorrith Sim, who wrote a book about her childhood journey in 1939 from Germany to her new home in Edinburgh.

Dorrith was one of nearly 10,000 children who were taken to safety via the Kindertransport in the nine months before the outbreak of the Second World War.

Now her story has been chosen to feature in one of five short films that chart the lives of Jewish people who moved to Scotland.

The films, a collaboration between the universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, are part of a research project called Jewish Lives, Scottish Spaces that profile five people in five videos, collectively called Points of Arrival.

Also sharing their stories is Jewish Cantor, Isaac Hirshow; campaigner Annie Lindey; artist Hilda Goldwag and 94-year-old public speaker Henry Wuga.

The films will be used to develop classroom resources for secondary schools across Scotland.

Little Dorrith was met in London by Edinburgh couple, Fred and Sophie Gallimore, who brought her up to 
Scotland where she spent a happy childhood in Colinton.

The only sentence she knew in English when she met them was “I have a handkerchief in my pocket”.

Dorrith, who died in 2012 aged 81, penned a book about her experience of leaving her home and family to start a new life in a foreign country.

Illustrations from the moving book by Scottish artist Gerald Fitzgerald are included in the film spliced with childhood photographs of Dorrith and footage of nine-year-old Noa Wilkes who narrates the poignant piece.

Although Dorrith never saw her parents again she settled in to life in Edinburgh, enjoying the freedom of being able to play in the streets with friends, something she was denied as a Jewish girl in Germany.

Dorrith attended George Watson’s School and was evacuated to Innerleithen during the worst part of the war. She graduated in Secretarial Studies at Skerry’s College.

While working at her first job she met law apprentice Andrew Sim whom she went on to marry and raise a family with.

Lead researcher Dr Hannah Holtschneider, of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Divinity, said: “The films offer fresh perspectives on the history of migration to these shores, its impact on individuals, the reception the people received and the contribution immigrants have made in communities.”