Your Family History

World Jewish Relief was established as the Central British Fund for German Jewry in 1933 to help refugees from Nazi-Europe, and we succeeded in bringing around 65,000 Jewish refugees to safety in the UK.

We have names of over 315,000 people who contacted us for help, as well as records for the 65,000 refugees we supported throughout the 1930s and 1940s.

To discover insights into your Jewish genealogy, fill in the form below and find out if our archive holds your family records. Once we have completed a database search, a member of our volunteer archive team will be in touch to let you know the outcome.


What records do you have?

Our archives include files for people who came from Germany and Austria, including many of the 10,000 children who came on the Kindertransport, as well as men who came to the Kitchener camp, 732 child survivors from concentration camps known as The Boys and countless others who arrived on domestic visas or under guarantors.

Where are the records kept?

To preserve these important historical documents and protect information relevant to Jewish genealogy, our original records were digitised in 2015. This was done with the support of the Association of Jewish Refugees and the Otto Schiff Housing Association and has made it easier to reunite people with their Jewish ancestry records.

Read about the 2-year journey it took to digitise the full archive.

What information do the records contain?

Our archive holds remarkable documents for many of the people that we helped. The files trace the help refugees received from World Jewish Relief in bringing individuals to Britain and assisting them to survive and establish their lives here.  Sometimes only a registration card remains but they may also contain papers such as Case files, Birth certificates, Immigration papers, School records, Letters and Records of financial support provided by World Jewish Relief.

Are the records returned for free?

Yes - through our free ancestry search, we have reunited many families with the records of their ancestors. See some of the documents we have uncovered in this video of us returning archive files to families, or watch this moving account by Jerry Springer of how he felt when he received his family history documents.

My family didn’t come over from Germany – will you still have records for them?

The documents predominantly cover people who came from Germany and Austria. We are unlikely to have documents for Jewish refugees who arrived from Czechoslovakia, including the children rescued by Sir Nicholas Winton. However, please do make an enquiry as they may have registered with the CBF after they arrived.

Watch: World Jewish Relief's Archives

The documents uncovered by Debbie not only expedited our application for Austrian citizenship, they also cast new light on my grandparents’ last days in Vienna and their first days in England.

Keiron Pim