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And so Paddington Bear was born.

They began arriving on a cold day in December of 1938. Eventually almost 10,000 would arrive at the cavernous Reading Station in London. These were the kids of the Kindertransport, little Jewish kids put on trains in Germany by their devastated parents in a desperate effort to save their lives. Each one carried a little suitcase, and wore a name tag. What a sight this must have been for Londoners - all those little kids, without their parents, speaking not a word of English! One of the onlookers would later honor these brave little folks by writing of a little bear, lost and alone, wearing a tag saying, “Please look after this bear. Thanks.” And so Paddington Bear was born.


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