German children in postwar Ireland

Sir, – When President Michael D Higgins was recently on a visit in Germany, the German president mentioned the hungry German children who came to Ireland after the last war.

I wonder if anyone else remembers being at school with those children.

I was at national school in Wicklow and remember a German boy who was being fostered in the town. His older sister was at secondary school.

My father, Ted Hopkins, was involved with the Wicklow Red Cross, and I remember him talking about the Glencree Reception Centre and how some of the children arrived in sugar sacks, which I wasn’t really old enough to understand.


He was part of a Red Cross group who escorted a group of children back to Germany in 1949.

The children had forgotten their German, and most of the parents didn’t speak English, so it must have been a strange reunion. – Yours, etc,



Bantry, Co Cork.