Glasgow Central Station: Where a young Jewish orphan found safety 75 years ago
Standing on the platform in 1946, the Jewish refugee, then aged 14, had endured a terrible journey, fleeing for her life and dodging German fire as she tried to get out of her home country.
Arriving in Glasgow 75 years ago, Marion found her new home – where she has been ever since.
Ms Camrass, now 89, has shared her story in a new BBC Scotland show, Inside Central Station.
She said: “[The start of the journey in Poland] was very difficult actually because the mode of transport was horse and cart. There were lots of refugees on the roads and it was crowded.
“The Germans would come in their small plane, just one pilot, and come really low down and just shoot at us. We would jump off the cart that we were in, and on both sides of the road there were forests so we would hide in the forest while he was busy killing whoever he could get.”
She was one of 1,000 Jewish orphans rescued by Rabbi Schonfeld, who had been given permission from the British Government to get the children to safety.
Ms Camrass arrived as part of the ‘Kindertransport’ – or ‘Child transport’ in German – in a coordinated attempt to rescue children from fascism and persecution. An estimated 10,000 children arrived in the UK from occupied states in total.
First arriving in London, her aunt travelled from Glasgow by train to collect her before bringing her home.
Ms Camrass said it was her mass of red hair that led her aunt to spot her on the station concourse.
She said: “I had not seen my aunt since I was six and I would not have known her at all, but she recognised me because I had a mass of red hair.
“Coming to Glasgow was wonderful because there were quite a few people with red hair, but in Poland and Russia it was not a good thing at all. You stood out like a sore thumb.”
In Glasgow, life became good for Ms Camrass, who married her GP husband, Henry, and started a family.
She said: “I was very, very fortunate in meeting my husband, who was a wonderful man. I think he liked red hair – that’s what it must have been.
“Scotland was very good to me. Certainly Scotland is my home – that’s where my children were born. It’s a wonderful country, I made a lot of good friends here.”
Central Station has been at the heart of Glasgow for generations, welcoming tourists, refugees, and commuters alike, with the station running 950 trains a day and ferrying over 35 million passengers per year.
The show, which has been produced by STV, unravels the history of the station through the personal stories of those whose life has been impacted by arrivals and departures here.
The show proved to be one of the BBC’s most popular since it first aired in 2016.
The story of Ms Camrass is told in full on tonight’s programme on BBC Scotland at 9pm.