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Special edition marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau

27 January 2020

‘Their stories will stay with me forever’ Duchess of Cambridge photographs survivors for our Holocaust Memorial Day edition

See pages 4 & 5


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Jewish News 27 January 2020

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JN 75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition

Meet our editors

This commemorative edition of Jewish News, marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, is edited by eight inspiring individuals JACK NICHOLLS

(NOMINATED BY HOLOCAUST EDUACTIONAL TRUST) Jack has been a regional ambassador for the Holocaust Educational Trust for three years and has had an interest in the Holocaust for much of the past 10 years. With HET he participated in summer conferences, guest lectures and study visits to Poland, Budapest and Israel. Some of the projects with HET have included a university society – with which he gave talks and invited survivors to share their testimonies.

ROBERT RINDER

(NOMINATED BY JEWISH NEWS) Rob’s grandfather is a survivor of the Holocaust, a fact that he says continues to profoundly influence his life from professional choices to his political world view. He regularly supports events aimed at remembrance and memorial in the UK including narrating the national Yom HaShoah event. His emotional appearance on Who Do You Think You Are?, tracing his own family’s story, attracted a huge TV audience and led to a new two-part documentary to be screened in April in which he helps children of four survivors in tracing their relative’s Shoah journey in western Europe. It will explore the relationship between memory and trauma.

HANNAH GELBART

(NOMINATED BY 45 AID SOCIETY) Hannah’s grandpa was a Holocaust survivor and one of The Boys, the group of children who moved to the UK after surviving the camps. An active member of the Third Generation and a BBC journalist, Hannah has produced and reported stories about her heritage on different platforms, including BBC Radio 2 and BBC News Online. She produced, reported and edited a BBC documentary called The Families Who Weren’t Meant To Live, in which she interviewed three survivors travelling to Prague with their families to recreate a photo taken in 1945. She is currently working on the launch of a new World Service children’s programme called My World, partnering with Angelina Jolie. Hannah writes about her work on page 65.

JAYA PATHAK

(NOMINATED BY JEWISH NEWS) Jaya is a 22-year-old regional ambassador for the Holocaust Educational Trust and studies pharmacy at university. She has been working with HET for almost six years. Her passion in history alongside her experience as a British Indian born and raised in the UK led her to develop a deep interest in Holocaust history and the persecution of minorities, as well as how to use education as a tool to defend the truth and truly fight against antisemitism. Her role as a regional ambassador (which she writes about on page 27) entails facilitating educational programmes and events about the Holocaust and primarily revolves around the sharing of testimony. She works alongside other organisations and communities in her region.

JUDE WILLIAMS

(NOMINATED BY THE NATIONAL HOLOCAUST CENTRE) Jude’s father was Paul Oppenheimer z’l who was born in Berlin and survived nearly two years in Bergen Belsen concentration camp. The Shoah featured prominently, but silently in her childhood, until her father spoke about those tears in the 1990s. Stephen Smith and Beth Shalom gave her father, and in fact aunt Eve and uncle Rudi, second careers in talking about their experiences to school children across the country. Between them 100,000s of children have heard them speak. As a Jewish educator, Jude continued their legacy by helping to lead March of the Living UK.

DEBRA BARNES

(NOMINATED BY THE ASSOCIATION OF JEWISH REFUGEES) Debra’s mother was a hidden child in Nazi-occupied France who lost four members of her immediate family at Auschwitz. Her mum never spoke about it and therefore neither did her family. Since her death in 2010 Debra has dedicated

much of her time to researching stories of the Holocaust, including that of her own family. Debra’s first Holocaust novel will be published by Duckworth Books in 2020.She lead AJR’s My Story testimony book project and AJR’s current second generation development work.

NATASHA ISAACS

(NOMINATED BY HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY TRUST) Natasha’s paternal grandfather arrived on the Kindertransport aged eight, and his father managed to join him in this country later. Her paternal grandmother stayed behind to look after her parents and never made it out. One of her great-grandfather’s brothers also survived the camps. Aside from them the rest of the family were murdered, mostly in Auschwitz. Natasha has been involved in memorial for many years at first via her synagogue’s remembrance service. She spoke at the HMD national ceremony and has been involved as part of HMD’s legacy advisory group ever since. Natasha has also been involved in a Human Rights education project which touched on the UN Declaration of Human Rights and its links to the Holocaust. She is a barrister and spent a great deal of time working to try and ensure her grandfather’s journey was not in vain.

SHANNEN JOHNSON

(NOMINATED BY ANNE FRANK TRUST) Shannen was an ambassador for the Anne Frank Trust at the age of 14. As part of her role, she visited the Anne Frank House and was trained as a peer educator to guide other pupils around the Anne Frank + You exhibition. It encouraged her to pursue a degree in international history and politics at university and for the last five years she has worked at The Peace Museum in Bradford the only museum dedicated to the history and stories of peace, peacemakers and peace movements,. In her current role as learning and engagement officer, she develops and delivers a peace education programme inspiring pupils to engage with stories of peacemakers. This includes sessions relating to the Kindertransport and the Holocaust. She unertook funded research into sensitive histories and how they are approached in museum learning programmes which took her back to the Anne Frank House. Shannen is committed to ensuring that the lessons of the past are not forgotten.


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75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition

We’ll carry their legacy forward... PERHAPS THE MOST STRIKING COMPARISON between this commemorative issue of Jewish News and that of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz five years ago, is the honour of editing has been passed from those who lived through it themselves, to their children, grandchildren and representatives of Holocaust-related organisations. This time we, the guest editors, have been nominated by the 45 Aid Society, the Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR), Anne Frank Trust, March of the Living UK, National Holocaust Centre, Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) and Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT). Our heroes are leaving us. The list of prolific speakers who dedicated their lives to educating about the Holocaust by sharing their stories and are now longer able to do so, is too long. Who will tell the stories now? Who will continue their legacy? Will it be the second and third generations telling the stories of their parents or grandparents, or perhaps the cohort of remarkable professionals working in the field of

Continued on page 46

Jewish

22 January 2015 | 2 Shvat 5775 | Issue 882 @Jewis hNewsU K

World Jewish Relief (as The CBF) rescued 65,000 people from the Nazis including many who arrived on the Kindertransport and 732 child Holocaust survivors known as The Boys.

We are returning these files to family members for free. Apply now! Find out if we helped your family at: www.worldjewishrelief.org/archives 020 8736 1250 “I am so moved to have received the files. I really can’t express adequately the emotions I felt, reading the words about my mother. I am alive today because of the generosity of so many” Mona Golabek

SOUVENIR EDITION 70th annive rsary of the liberation of Auschwitz

‘HELP US KEEP THE MEMORY ALIVE’ HANN AH LEWIS Born: Poland 1937 Liberated from Adampol

HARRY BIBRIN G Born: Vienna 1925 Kindertransport

BEN HELFGOTT, MBE Born: Poland 1929 Liberated from Theresien stadt

GENA TURGEL, MBE

Born: Poland 1923 Liberated from Bergen-Belsen Photo: Marc Morris

SPECIAL ISSUE EDITED BY OUR

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PANEL OF HOLOCAUST SURV

IVORS

e are delighted to be guest editors of today’s unique long and hard about the issues and munity features we wanted to is debating, edition of the Jewish share. Jewish and concerned about inconsidering How can we – Holocaust marking the 70th anniversary News, 2015 – the hand overNews’s brave decision to Britain. We want sur- 70th anniversary of the vivors and refugees to look at how the editing of today’s ediliberation of Auschwitz. of our liberation. – put into just Holocaust will tion is a fantastic opportunity We are often invited to of the newspaper is our This issue one issue everything that we want for us when we are no be remembered share our to share our personal story with young longer thoughts with you. nity to showcase our viewsopportu- to impart to you? The answer is, people ject Gena discusses onhere, a subwe We and sto- can’t. What pages 10 ries with you. We – we hope we have done from all backgrounds in schools and from have decided to move away and 11 with Ben, Gena, is given the horrors of the Holocaust three generations of colleges, but we are not Hannah and Harry – have you always able and instead thought of the things an insight into some to share our experiences focus on the contribu- her family over slices of her famous that the survivor comapple strudel – the recipe Jewish community in the with the tions the survivor community for which has she shares with readers same way. made to society since arriving on page 40. in

Continued on page 30 INSIDE: TONY BLAIR DAVID CAM ERON THE CHIEF RABBI NICK FERRA RI DANI EL FINK NICK CLEGG ELSTE IN STEPH EN FRY MATT DEBO RAH LIPSTADT ED MILIB HEW AND KARE N POLLOCK REUV GOU LD EN RIVLI N

Five years ago, to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Jewish News was edited by four survivors, Sir Ben Helfgott, Hannah Lewis and the late Gena Turgel and Harry Bibring. In it they urged future generations to safeguard their legacy. They wrote: “We are the children, brothers and sisters of victims, and when we are gone, we want someone to remember them, too. Sometimes we ask what will happen in the years to come. We rely on you to help to ensure that our memories thrive. Our hope is that these seeds we plant will bring plants, which will grow into bushes, which will grow into trees and forests, which will thrive.” Today, on the 75th anniversary, we heed their call.

Did we save your family? If your family escaped Germany or Austria in the 1930s and 40s we may have their original case files.

jewishnews.co.uk


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Photo by Frederic Aranda

Photo by Jillian Edelstein

JN 75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition

JOAN SLATER WITH HUSBAND & DAUGHTER photographed By Frederic Aranda

JOHN HAJDU WITH GRANDSON JACK Photographed by Jillian Edelstein

Joan was born in Brussels to Polish Jewish parents, and was three months old when Belgium was invaded by the Nazis. Her father was deported, so her mother took Joan and her sister to France, where the children eventually managed to get a place on a ship to the USA. They were then fostered and adapted to

John was born in Budapest. His father was taken to a forced labour camp in 1943, and in 1944, he was forced to live in a designated ‘yellow star house’ with his mother, aunt and uncle. His mother was then taken to work and sent to Mauthausen concentration camp. John was hidden at the time to avoid deportation. He was then forced to live in the Budapest ghetto,

their new life, in addition to being given new names. When she was eventually reunited with her parents in London in 1947, they were severely traumatised and Joan no longer shared a common language with them. She had a difficult childhood split between her two homes. Joan is photographed with husband Martin and daughter Shelley.

in a flat with 20 to 25 other people until they were liberated in 1945. He then lived under the subsequent communist regime, before coming to the UK as a refugee in the 1950s. He now gives talks about his experiences. John is joined in his photo by his grandson, Zac, aged four.

‘THE MOST LIFE-AFFIRMING PEOPLE I’VE EVER MET’ by Adam Decker @JewishNewsUK

The Duchess of Cambridge has honoured two survivors she photographed as part of a project marking Holocaust Day as among the most “life-affirming people I’ve ever met”. The future Queen is among more than a dozen photographers taking part in a Jewish News-initiated project that will lead to an exhibition of 75 powerful images of survivors and their families to mark the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. The initiative – a joint collaboration between Jewish News, the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) and Holocaust Memorial Day Trust – aims to honour the victims of the Shoah and acknowledge the full lives that survivors built for themselves in the UK.

The Duchess met Yvonne Bernstein and Steven Frank, along with their grandchildren, at Kensington Palace this month, spending nearly two-and- a-half hours listening to their stories of survival and taking two of the four images published today. Also featured in this first group of photos are John Hajdu and Joan Salter, both pictured by members and fellows of the RPS. Our front page features Steven Frank, 84, who survived multiple concentration camps as a child but lost his father at Auschwitz, alongside his granddaughters Maggie and Trixie Fleet, aged 15 and 13. Also in in the image – for which the Duchess took inspiration from the style of Johannes Vermeer – is a cooking pan which Steven’s mother kept with them throughout their time in the camps.

She would accumulate crumbs and add water to create a paste, feeding her sons to hell stave off starvation. He also brought a tomato from his garden -–something he has grown since helping a fellow prisoner in Theriesenstadt to grow the fruit in the camp. Steven – who travels the country to pass on the lessons of the Shoah – said: “I hope that the people who look at these pictures not only look at the beauty of the photography, but they will also think of the people behind the photos and the families they lost.” The remainder of the 75 photos will be taken by RPS fellows over the coming months, ahead of the exhibition later this year. Organisers hope to inspire people across the UK to consider their own responsibility to remember and share the stories of

those who endured persecution. Justin Cohen, co-publisher of Jewish News, said: “Each of these striking photographs remind us of the strength of so many survivors in building new lives and families after coming face to face with Nazi evil, but also of the millions who were murdered and the many more millions of children and grandchildren who were never even born. “With fewer survivors with us to relay their experiences, the work of the Duchess and the other photographers will help ensure the truth is never forgotten, and its lessons for fighting hate today are brought to the fore.” Olivia Marks-Woldman, chief executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, said: “The exhibition will be a fitting way to mark 75 years

since the world was left scarred by the Holocaust. The survivors featured in these portraits all have very different stories, but each of their lives has been fundamentally changed by the trauma and loss they experienced. What connects these individuals is that, after systematic persecution, they all made the UK their home and the country has been enriched by them and their families.” Dr Alan Hodgson, President of the Royal Photographic Society, said: “The power of photography to document and give insight is evident in these photographs. “These portraits provide a direct connection to those who were witnesses and, crucially, bring in their children and grandchildren who will be so important in ensuring their stories and experiences remain relevant.”


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75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition

WHY THESE PICTURES MEAN SO MUCH TO ME THE DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE The harrowing atrocities of the Holocaust, which were caused by the most unthinkable evil, will forever lay heavy in our hearts. Yet it is so often through the most unimaginable adversity that the most remarkable people flourish. Despite unbelievable trauma at the start of their lives, Yvonne Bernstein and Steven Frank are two of the most life-affirming people that I have had the privilege to meet. They look back on their experiences with sadness but also with gratitude that they were some of the lucky few to make it through. Their stories will stay with me forever. While I have been lucky enough to meet two of the now very few survivors, I recognise not everyone in the future will be able to hear these stories first hand. It is vital that their memories are preserved and passed on to

future generations, so what they went through is not forgotten. One of the most moving accounts I read as a young girl was The Diary of Anne Frank which tells a very personal reflection of life under Nazi occupation from a child’s perspective. Her sensitive and intimate interpretation of the horrors at the time was the underlying inspiration behind the images. I wanted to make the portraits deeply personal to Yvonne and Steven – a celebration of family and the life that they have built since they arrived in Britain in the 1940s. The families brought items of significance which are included in the photographs. It was an honour to participate. I hope Yvonne and Steven’s memories will be kept alive as they pass the baton to the next generation.

The Royals have a proud history of remembrance JUSTIN COHEN

Photo by Duchess of Cambridge

CO-PUBLISHER, JEWISH NEWS

YVONNE BERNSTEIN with her granddaughter Chloe Wright (Photographed by The Duchess of Cambridge) Yvonne was born in Germany in 1937, and named Ursula. Her father was in Amsterdam on business when Kristallnacht took place in 1938, and was advised to stay there and go into hiding. After months of hiding, he got a visa to go to the UK and work in the jewellery business in Birmingham. Yvonne’s mother then managed to get a domestic visa to work for a vicar in Nottingham, but she could not bring Yvonne with her. They expected to be reunited a few weeks later, but War broke out. As a young child, Yvonne then undertook a long journey in the care of her aunt and uncle, fre-

quently changing homes and names whilst living in France, including two months hiding in a convent with her cousin. Eventually the Nazis came to arrest the family. Although Yvonne, her cousin and her aunt were released, her uncle was sent to Auschwitz where he was murdered. In 1944, Yvonne’s father, who was then in the British Army, set out to find his daughter and she eventually arrived in Britain at eight years old in June 1945. She was reunited with her parents. In this image is an ID card and a brooch. Yvonne’s ID card is from Germany, and dated 3 March 1939. It has a letter ‘J’ stamped on it, to identify her as a Jew – one of the many ways Jewish people were separated from population.

The Duchess of Cambridge’s poignant photos of Holocaust survivors are so much more than ‘point-and-click’ images. I approached Kensington Palace six months ago with the idea. A former fine arts student, the Duchess would help photograph 75 Holocaust survivors and their families. I was surprised and delighted when aides called, suggesting we involve the Royal Photographic Society, where she is patron. After HMDT got agreement from survivors, I dared wonder: might this actually happen? The first images are revealed today. Before meeting Steven Frank and Yvonne Bernstein, the Duchess spent hours prepping the session. Once together, she spent three hours getting to know them and their stories. Then she took their photos.

I learned later that she spent several days researching. She wanted the focus on them, not her. This crucial background shows how the Royal Family doesn’t just talk of remembrance but carries it through, carrying the survivors’ message: challenge hatred wherever you see it. I remember once discussing with my grandma (who came here on the Kindertransport) about an upcoming gathering of former refugees. I was struck by her casual attitude towards meeting Charles. Why? She had met him twice already. Such is the measure of his commitment. Today, as survivors pass away, as intolerance gathers strength, the importance of Royals using their platforms to shine a light on past horrors cannot be over stated.

OUR PAGE ONE IMAGE: Steven Frank BEM, one of just 93 children to survive Theresienstadt, pictured with his granddaughters Maggie Fleet, 15 and Trixie Fleet, 13. Photographed by The Duchess of Cambridge


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The inspirational lives tha Jenni Frazer pays tribute to artists, musicians and doctors who perished

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hat we lost in the Holocaust, among the six million, were mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, uncles, aunts and cousins. And each of them had a unique story, of a life lived before the darkness that swept over Europe between 1939 and 1945. Many of those lives were ordinary men and women, just like us. But some of those who were murdered, whose lives were cut short, were extraordinary – poets, composers, artists, musicians and physicians. Thanks to the YIVO Archives in New York, we are able to highlight a few people who had begun to make a contribution to society, both Jewish and non-Jewish. And, as is often said of the would-be novelist Anne Frank, who knows what they would have done had they lived?

JANUSZ KORCZAK

Almost certainly the best-known name to many is the doctor, educator and writer Janusz Korczak. He was born Henryk Goldszmit into an assimilated family in Warsaw, who were strongly involved in Polish culture and imbued with a tradition of social activism. Korczak trained as a doctor in Poland, Germany, France and England. After working for several years in Warsaw at the Berson-Bauman Jewish children’s hospital, Korczak became director of the Jewish Orphans’ Home, funded by members of the liberal Jewish community. He ran the home from 1912 until 1942, and in parallel, in 1919, he founded a Catholic children’s home, known as Our House. Both the Jewish and Catholic homes embodied Korczak’s concept of a self-governing children’s society with its own institutions – a parliament, court, newspaper, and a system of assigned duties or division of labour – that promoted law and order, active participation and care of children by other children. Korczak also launched a children’s newspaper, The Little Review, which was issued from 1926 to 1939 as a weekly supplement to the General Zionist daily Nasz Przeglad. He also worked in radio, giving talks under the name ‘Old Doctor’. Korczak became a prolific writer and journalist. He wrote 24 books and more than 1,400 additional texts – including work for children and adults as well as autobiographical material. He also wrote medical articles, minor literary works, interviews and other texts. Korczak was a fighter for children’s rights and was renowned as such throughout Poland. He considered himself a member of two cultures and nations. As a Jew and a Pole, he was active in both communities and worked to bring them closer together. When the war broke out, he continued as director of his orphanage (now with 200 children under his charge, double the prewar number), and also took responsibility for another orphanage – this one with 500 children – and planned to establish a hospice for street children. Korczak ended his life working with children in the Warsaw Ghetto. Although Polish friends offered to help him leave the ghetto illegally, he refused. When the Nazis came in 1942 to clear out the orphanages and deport

Clockwise from top left: Janusz Korczak; Oyzer Varshavski, left, with Yiddish writers H. Leivick and Peretz Markish, Paris, 1924; Devora Vogel cover; Mordkhe Gebirtig; and Jozef Jaszunski, standing second from right, director fo operations for ORT on a visit to a sewing course for girls, Warsaw, 1935.

the children, Korczak stayed with the orphans and went with them to Treblinka, where he and all the children were murdered.

MORDECHAI GEBIRTIG

Mordechai Gebirtig, born in Kraków, Poland, was a Yiddish poet and songwriter who served in the Imperial Austro-Hungarian Army in the First World War. He had already begun to write for Der Sotsyal Demokrat, the official publication of the Jewish Social Democrat Party of Galicia, and in 1920 published his first collection of songs. Gebirtig’s work became famous nationally and internationally, and his songs – with catchy melodies – were often performed in theatres in Poland and America. Perhaps one of his bestknown songs – which became popular as the Holocaust wore on and is often sung today at commemorative events – is Es Brent, or It Is Burning, written in 1938. The Gebirtig family was expelled from Krakow in 1940 and then transported to the ghetto. On 4 June 1942, while being marched to the Kraków train station on the way to the Bełżec death camp, Gebirtig was shot dead by random Nazi fire.

OYZER VARSHAVSKI

Oyzer Varshavski, was a writer, painter and art critic who was born in Poland and died in 1944, aged 46.

By 1923, he had left Poland and, after a short stay in Berlin and London, settled in Paris in 1924. There, he became a part of the artists’ community of Montparnasse, painting and writing art criticism. In the realm of literature, he played an important role in Paris by publishing two avant-garde periodicals. After writing a novel, he mainly published essays about art. At the beginning of the German occupation of France in 1940, Varshavski was still in Paris. In May 1942, he moved to the southern region of France where Jews were not yet subject to mass arrests and deportation. In June 1943, fleeing increasing persecution, he and his wife went to the Italian-occupied zone of France. In September, they were both evacuated to Rome. There, in May 1944, he fell into the hands of the Nazis and was murdered in Auschwitz on 10 October 1944.

JOZEF JASZUNSKI

Grodno-born Józef Jaszuński was an engineer, researcher, translator, and educator. Born to a wealthy family, Jaszuński had both a traditional Jewish and a strong secular education. He studied physics and mathematics at St Petersburg University and at the Berlin Polytechnikum. Politically, he sympathised early on with the Zionist movement. In 1906, Jaszuński returned from Germany to St Petersburg; there he contributed (under a pseudonym) to the first Yiddish daily news-

paper in the Russian Empire, Der Fraynd, as a correspondent and commentator on social and political issues. Additionally, he wrote for Russian-language Jewish periodicals, translated philosophical and scientific texts from German into Russian, and edited Russian reference books. In 1920, Jaszuński moved to Vilna, in Lithuania, and became an important activist for the ORT organisation. In 1924, he became principal of the Yiddishe Realschule (Jewish scientific gymnasium) in Vilna, one of the most prestigious Jewish educational institutes in Poland. He was also a prolific writer and columnist, wellknown throughout the country. In 1928, Jaszuński moved to Warsaw, and by the mid-1930s was ORT’s director of operations in Poland. After the Germans captured Warsaw, Jaszuński was appointed to the Judenrat (local Jewish council), working to expand vocational training programmes for Jews and to open workplaces for unemployed Jews. In January 1943, he was transported to Treblinka with his wife and one son, where they all died. Another son, Grisha, became an active, well-known figure in the Vilna ghetto and survived.

KAREL FLEISCHMANN

Karel Fleischmann, who was born in Klatovy, Bohemia, was a doctor (he had studied medicine in Prague), writer and an artist. He was only in


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at were lost his mid-40s when he was murdered in 1944. and studied medicine in Prague. In 1925, Fleischmann returned to České Budějovice, the Czech town in which he had grown up, where he set up a dermatology practice and pursued literary and artistic interests. His father, a graphic artist and calligrapher, had long encouraged his son’s talents. Fleischmann played an active role in local cultural life. In addition to organising lectures on health care for the general public and publishing articles in medical journals, he organised art exhibitions and wrote critical essays on trends in literature, graphics, film, and drama. He also produced linocuts and lithographs, mainly on social subjects, in a figurative yet expressionistic style. Fleischmann was a co-founder of the avantgarde writers’ and artists’ group Linie, which published a regular journal, and he wrote a novel and a good deal of poetry. After the Nazis occupied Czechoslovakia in 1939, Fleischmann was barred from practising medicine. In April 1942, he was deported to Terezín, where he helped to provide health services to the elderly and infirm. Working in secret at night, he continued to write, producing medical lectures, prose, and poems; several of his manuscripts survive in the Jewish Museum in Prague, including A Day in Terezín. Fleischmann’s stark and expressionistic

black and white drawings from that time feature characteristically stoop-shouldered inmates depicted against the abysmal backdrop of camp life: registering for the frequent deportations “to the East”, crowded into barracks, waiting for medical attention or bread rations, or peeling potatoes. On 23 October 1944, he was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where he was immediately sent to the gas chamber. Hundreds of his drawings, which had been hidden during the war, are in the collections of the Jewish Museum, Prague, in Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, and in Beit Theresienstadt, Givat Haim Ichud, Israel.

DVORA VOGEL

The poet Dvora Vogel was born in Burshtyn, Galicia, into an intellectual family. During the First World War, the family fled to Vienna. Upon their return, Vogel attended high school in Lvov and then studied at Lvov and Krakow universities. Her first literary efforts were in German, but she subsequently switched to Yiddish. After completing a doctorate in 1926, Vogel went abroad to Stockholm, Berlin, and Paris. She returned to teach psychology at the Hebrew Teachers’ Seminary in Lvov and published her first Yiddish-language poems. She was murdered, with her husband, mother and young son, in the Lvov ghetto in 1942.

Save the date

POLAND LOST ITS IDENTITY WHEN THE JEWISH COMMUNITY WAS TAKEN ANNA MARIA BARYLA CITY GUIDE IN KRAKOW

Growing up in a small town outside Krakow, I knew very little about the Jewish history of Poland. I knew that more than three million Jews lived in Poland before the war (about 10 percent of the total population of the country) and about the tragic fate of the community. But it wasn’t until I moved to Krakow many years later I discovered that Jewish life still existed in Poland. Now I am a Polish non-Jewish woman with a degree in Jewish Studies, I am a tour guide in Krakow and a volunteer at the Jewish Community Centre (JCC) in Krakow, which was built and funded by World Jewish Relief. I’ve dedicated the past 10 years to learning about our Jewish history, getting to know the local Jewish community and educating people about the revival of Jewish life in Poland. Every day, I explain to hundreds of international visitors the important influence Jews had on Polish history and culture. Because I believe it is our obligation to teach the next generations about it. And I am not the only non-Jew involved in remembering and commemorating Poland’s Jewish past. Last year, a group of local tour guides laid

a plaque at the site where a Jewish orphanage stood in the former Krakow ghetto. It was a small gesture, but incredibly important for us all. I am also just one of more than 70 non-Jewish volunteers at the JCC Krakow who are proud to support the community. We are strengthened by our special connection to our Jewish community – especially with the seniors and Holocaust survivors, 50 of whom still live in Krakow. To be able to help them and learn from them is a huge privilege, and it is our responsibility to help keep their memory alive in the future. I might not have Jewish roots, but my country does, and we lost part of our identity when the Jewish community was wiped out in the Holocaust. That’s why it’s so important to me, a non-Jewish Pole, to continue commemorating our common history and working towards a better future for all.

Anna leading a group at Auschwitz

TRANSFORMING THE LANDSCAPE OF MENTAL HEALTH A panel discussion

Tuesday 28 January, 7.30PM, JW3 London Join Jami, The Mental Health Service for our Community, together with JW3 for a panel discussion to mark The Mental Health Awareness Shabbat.

Save the date

Join over 120 shuls, organisations and groups taking part across the UK, and help to raise the profile of mental health and mental illness in the Jewish Community.

register today so YOU AND YOUR COMMUNITY CAN GET INVOLVED BY VISITING JAMIUK.ORG/MHAS

Brought to you by

Registered charity no. 1003345. A company limited by guarantee. Registered in London no. 2618170

The panel will focus on how collaboration between organisations in our community can help improve our mental health and how we can best work together to achieve this, before opening up the discussion to a Q&A from the audience to our panel of experts: •

Laurie Rackind, Chief Executive of Jami

Dr Ellie Cannon, NHS GP, author and Mail on Sunday doctor

Rabbi Miriam Berger, Finchley Reform Synagogue

Laurence Field, Director of Gateways at JW3

Panel to be chaired by Adam Dawson, Barrister and Chair of Jami’s Board of Trustees

To find out more, or to book tickets please visit jamiuk.org/mhas

Brought to you by

Registered Charity 1003345. A Company Limited by Guarantee 2618170.


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Saturday

JANUARY

1945

The date of Auschwitz’s liberation is etched into public consciousness, but little is known about what actually took place on that long-awaited day

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s Brits, we tend to know more about the liberation of BergenBelsen than the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, which took place 75 years ago today, because British soldiers liberated the former, whereas Soviet soldiers liberated the latter, writes Stephen Oryszczuk. Had SS soldiers not begun evacuating Auschwitz-Birkenau days before, in midJanuary 1945, the Soviets would have found almost 70,000 prisoners there.

As it was, they found little more than 7,000, including 180 children. Of those left behind, 1,200 were found at Auschwitz I while 5,800 were found at Auschwitz II-Birkenau and 600 at Auschwitz III-Mowowitz. Most were dying, but already it was known that to have any living witnesses at all was rare. Nearly 60,000 prisoners – mostly Jews, those able to walk – had earlier left on the now-notorious death marches to the cities of Wodzislaw and Breslau, 100 miles away.

Nightmare’s end: Some of the 180 child survivors of Auschwitz after liberation

Up to 15,000 died on the way, shot as they fell, having succumbed to the cold, starvation and exposure. Upon entering the huge network of camps, just one week after liberating the Polish capital Warsaw, Soviet troops found mountains of corpses, up to 600 bodies, because the crematoria had stopped working a week before liberation. More importantly for future generations, they also found structures, such as the barracks supporting the forced labour camps. Many other killing centres had been bulldozed by the retreating Nazis – wiped from the face of the earth, with evidence destroyed. Auschwitz, by contrast, was captured almost intact. Little known or appreciated is that it was captured at a cost of 230 Soviet soldiers, including the commander of the 472nd regiment, Col. Siemen Lvovich Besprozvanny, who died in combat while liberating the main camp, Birkenau, Monowitz and the city of Oświęcim. Once the fighting was over the commanding Soviet officer ordered that every Auschwitz prisoner be medically examined and treated if necessary, as one of the liberators recalled. “I remember that some people were coming towards us,” said Otari Amaglobeli, a Soviet soldier who later wrote a book about his experience. “It was hard to understand who was who. There was total atrophy, just bones and skin from all the hunger, no tissue left. Utter horror. Many had tuberculosis. Many were starved to no recognition. Every other one had a stomach ulcer because they hadn’t eaten anything, – total avitaminosis.” The soldiers stayed there for three days rather than pursue the fleeing Germans. “We couldn’t close our eyes for a second,” he said. “Besides the doctors, every single soldier helped. There weren’t enough band-

Day of deliverance: Prisoners walk beneath the infamous sign on the day of liberation

ages so we cut bed sheets into pieces.” Naturally, every prisoner wanted to eat, but the Soviets knew that if they ate straight away they would die. “One cannot eat on a starved stomach,” Amaglobeli said. “One had to wait, drink warm water. So we waited, we couldn’t do anything else other than give medical help and moral support, rejoicing that they were free.” Jewish survivor Paula Lebovics, a child in the camp when it was liberated, spoke to the USC Shoah Foundation a few years ago and recalled the moment a Russian soldier picked her up. “He sat down and rocked me in his arms. The tears were just flowing down his face. I can never forget that as long as I live, just to look at him and figuring in my head... somebody out there cares about me? It was the first time I’d had this feeling.” She said the Soviet soldiers wanted to share their food, but didn’t have much. “They didn’t look like the Germans [who had been] all dressed up. They looked tattered and worn and beaten up.” The liberating soldiers of the 60th Army of the First Ukrainian Front captured grainy video footage of the camp and soon enlisted a commission to speak to survivors to understand the full horrors of Auschwitz-Birkenau. In May 1945, the commission reported that four million had died there between 1941 and early 1945 (this figure was later revised down to just over one million by the Auschwitz Museum) and that human experimentation “of a revolting character” had been performed by Nazi doctors. It would take many more years to know details of what went on there, and while the nations of the world would slowly awaken to the horrors of Auschwitz-Birkenau, none would ever be able to fully grasp them.


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Zigi Shipper, Auschwitz-Birkenau survivor and Holocaust Survivors’ Centre member

NEVER FORGET As we remember those who lost their lives in the Holocaust, we must never forget the men and women who survived. Jewish Care’s Holocaust Survivors’ Centre supports over 500 people every year. At the centre, they can find friendship, support and understanding among those who have shared similar experiences. Every month, survivors new to Jewish Care contact us. If you are a Holocaust survivor or refugee and need our help, or if you know someone who does, please call us today. We will never forget.

To find out more about the Holocaust Survivors’ Centre, visit jewishcare.org or call 020 8203 9033.

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JN 75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition

TRAUMA HANDED DOWN FROM PARENT TO CHILD Sandy Rashty explores the transgenerational impact of the Nazi nightmare

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tories of survivors have been widely told to ensure the horrors of the Holocaust are never forgotten. Less is known about how the period affected the children of survivors who lived through the concentration camps, who were hidden, who were granted refuge, or who joined resistance movements across Europe. According to experts who have researched the transgenerational impact of the Holocaust, in some cases it has had a wide-ranging effect on the second generation’s personal identity and relationships with their own family and wider society. BELINDA HOCHLAND, 62, had a comfortable childhood. Raised in a Jewish home in Glasgow, she went onto become a teacher, get married and have children of her own. But from an early age, she recalls an atmosphere in their home. “We were a family of relative silence; we didn’t chat. We could have entire meals and car journeys in silence,” she says. Her father Henry Rose – born Henryk Ruzagura in Warsaw in 1924 – was a Holocaust survivor. He survived three concentration camps, before being liberated on the last train from Buchenwald to Theresienstadt in 1945. He came to the UK after the war as one of the children brought to Windermere. He later met Belinda’s mother, Mindel, playing badminton at the Maccabi club in Glasgow, went on to work in textiles and had two daughters. But ever since Belinda can remember, she and her sister Sharon were warned against asking him about his past. “It engulfed everything about our lives,” she recalls. “We all cowed to dad’s needs

Emmerdale actress LOUISA CLEIN, 40, shares the need to research her family history. Her Dutch mother, Channa Salomonson, was born in Amsterdam in 1939. She was hidden by a nonJewish family until her parents – supported by the resistance – returned to collect her. But Clein knew little of her background – and had a relatively secular life growing up in Poole, Dorset. “My mum didn’t want us to feel

because of his horrific history. From a young age, we knew he was a Holocaust survivor, but we did not really understand what that meant until many years later.” Belinda always felt a need to find out more about her father’s history. “The minute you touched his past, he had a temper; iron shutters came down,” she says. “I wasn’t allowed to ask questions about dad’s past, but I kept pushing. It was the only thing I argued with my father about; my need to know who I was and where I came from.” She adds: “I just wanted to know the basics: what he did, where he went to school, did he have a barmitzvah? Dad wasn’t very forthcoming. He would just lose his temper and shut down the discussion.” After she got married, she sought advice from a counsellor and agreed to stop questioning her father about his past. “It wasn’t for me to make him speak,” she says. In 2014, Hochland was due to deliver a different to the non-Jewish world in which we grew up,” she says. “I didn’t go on Israel tour or have a batmitzvah.” But still, Clein felt different to the community around her. “I have never felt really English. That has come from my mum. England welcomed us and we have a wonderful life here, but I feel Jewish. I think that’s quite a distinction, I feel different.” Aged 18, Clein moved to London to attend drama school. Living in north London, she started to connect with her Jewish roots. “I would go to relatives for Friday night dinner; I lived in north London; I realised I could buy chicken soup; I went to Israel for the first time and saw that everyone looks like me – they had curly hair like me. I went from one extreme to the other.” She married barrister Jeremy Brier at Bevis Marks Synagogue and moved to north London permanently. Reflecting on this, Clein, now a mother-ofthree, says her mother’s story impacts on the way she looks at the world – and fears incidences of antisemitism across the UK. “I feel real fear and real anger. I think about my mum’s story. It’s not just a concept or

school assembly on the Holocaust. On a family holiday in Florida, she decided to show her father the presentation she had prepared. “Out of the blue he said: ‘I’ll give you one hour. I’ll tell you what you want – within reason – what I can,’” she recalls. “I was completely overwhelmed.” She picked up a notebook and wrote down his story. “Then the clock stopped [and] the shutter came down.” Further attempts to get her father to talk about his past were fruitless. When Belinda showed him historical photographs from the Lake District, she says: “He blankly swept past them all, as if he had no recognition or memory of those days.” At the only reunion he attended around 10 years ago with the 45 Aid society, she describes him as being “so uncomfortable”.

a story to me.” Now, the award-winning actress is determined to learn more about her family’s past. After appearing on BBC One’s Who Do You Think You Are? she has gone on to film a documentary about her own family. She adds: “It feels like a responsibility, to keep these stories and alive. For me, it’s not ‘history’ – it’s my mum. It’s my whole life. It’s formed who I am.” Above: Louisa Clein as a baby with her mother, Channa, and, right, together on Louisa’s wedding day

Clockwise from top left: Belinda as a baby with her father, Henry, and with him in 2017, and Henry’s wedding to Mindel

“It was palpable,” she says. “People approached him wanting to reconnect, but he had no interest. I never got any more answers. He did not have the capacity to talk emotionally. “I think that was the only way he could cope living. He may have had a lot of guilt as the only survivor of the family that we know of. We don’t know what he had to do to survive.” Hochland says she still has the need to find out more about her past – noting that gaps in her history had a defining impact as the second generation child of a survivor. “We have leads to follow up of possible family after all. My journey is not over, it’s just beginning.”


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75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition In London, second generation DEBRA BARNES, 55, says she also felt the need to document her family’s story. She started working with the Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR) after her mother – a Holocaust survivor – passed away in 2010. Born Paulette Szklarz, her mother was hidden in France during the Holocaust. Her parents, brother and twin sister were murdered in Auschwitz. She survived along with two of her brothers – and made a life for herself in the UK. But her story impacted Debra from a young age. “I don’t remember when I was told about the Holocaust, but I always had knowledge of what had happened,” she says. “Our family avoided anything related to the Holocaust such as books, films or television programmes. I grew up with a sense of duty to make my mother as happy as possible, I suppose to make up for the terrible experiences she suffered as a child.” But this impacted on Debra’s own mental health. “This sense of duty became too much for me and when an opportunity arose for me to escape, I took it. I went to live in a remote area of Spain where no one knew my background. This upset my mother terribly, which in turn resulted in my having

IMPACT ON SURVIVOR CHILDREN

an eating disorder.” Reacting to this, the family sought support from a counsellor, who specialised in the treatment of Holocaust survivors and their families. “We eventually managed to restore our relationship,” she says. Now working for the AJR, she has written a novel inspired by her mother’s personal story, set to be published this May. “I hope my mother would have been proud of me,’ she says. Clockwise from top: Debra with her mother Paulette in 1966 or 1967 and with her mother on her wedding day, and Debra on her mother’s lap with her sister Caron behind them

Dutch-born psychologist and psychotherapist Gaby Glassman, who specialises in the transgenerational effects of the Holocaust, says key themes are found in the second generation, the children of Shoah survivors. Glassman, who has run counselling sessions with more than 1,000 second generation children over the past 30 years, explains: “In many families, there seemed to have been a hierarchy of suffering. This caused a lot of damage. The second generation didn’t feel entitled to their own pain; it did not compare with that endured by their survivor parent.” She says many second generation children don’t remember when they learnt their parent was a survivor – “It was always around. When parents were sad, children picked that up and tried to make them happy... The silences could have a big impact.” A disproportionate number were keen to go into “helping professions”, she explains, and were “ready to please”. Glassman has observed problems of communication within Holocaust survivor families, including the prevalence of a mutually protective mechanism whereby survivors do not wish to burden their children with their experiences – and children do not want to ask their parents questions for fear of upsetting them. These issues have impacted the second generation’s other relationships, she says, including with their own children and their partners, friends and colleagues. “The lack of separation between the first and second generation is likely to impinge on the ability of the second generation to think and act independently, particularly in handling conflict.” Glassman has noted a group of “expectations” that manifest, including the pressure to achieve academically and professionally. She says her clients also felt they had “to be available dutifully at their parent’s beck and call” and many were unable to express their anger.


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JN 75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition

How tech provides new ways to learn about the Holocaust Digital innovation means survivors can share their stories forever

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he power of technology is an over-used phrase, writes Stephen Oryszczuk. As with most powerful things, it can be used for good or ill. When it comes to the Holocaust, a subject matter so immense in scale and understanding that it is hard to know where to begin even at the best of times, technology can both come to the rescue and wreak havoc. In recent years, Holocaust denial and revisionism have had a e-shot in the arm, from poorly policed social media platforms, yet educators increasingly see in technology a way to connect tomorrow’s generation with a generation of survivors and witnesses fast dying out. That is because technology not only makes things faster, more efficient or more accurate, it also makes things or people more real – or at least appear to be. Such a thing may be a ghetto. Such a person may be a Holocaust survivor. Using technology in Holocaust education is not new: it has been championed by film director Steven Spielberg for years. It is designed to let children understand what happened, in part by helping them to ‘meet’ survivors. Stephen Smith, a Brit based at the University of Southern California (USC) Shoah Foundation, who co-founded the National Holocaust Centre and Museum in Nottinghamshire and chaired the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, knows all there is to know in this field. He has driven several projects using technology to “change the performative space of testimony when there is no testifier”. Among the most recent is the room-scale virtual reality (VR) film The Last Goodbye. In 2016, VR camera crews followed Pinchas Gutter around the Majdanek camp in Poland

where he was held, and where his family were murdered. They captured hours of 3D video and tens of thousands of photos. These were brought to life over several months by artists and engineers. The result is a 17-minute film that lets viewers walk ‘eye-to-eye with Pinchas’. It is an unsettling but immersive experience. Wearing a VR headset, you ‘walk around the camp with Pinchas’ as he passes the railway cars, barracks, shower room and gas chambers of Majdanek, where 60,000 were killed. Survivors’ testimony has been immortalised in other ways, such as with the Foundation’s ‘new dimensions in testimony’ (NDT), which filmed 25 survivors, including Anne Frank’s stepsister Eva Schloss, answering thousands of questions. In Nottinghamshire, it is called the Forever Project and has filmed ten UK-based survivors answering the same kinds of questions. Advanced 360-degree filming techniques mean the survivors appear as if in person and algorithms using “natural language processing” (performed by IBM’s Watson computer) then match an audience question to one of the survivors’ answers, creating the effect of a chat. “We understand very well the power of conversation between Holocaust survivors and the younger generation,” says Smith. “We’ve seen it in schools, in universities. That moment of dialogue and conversation, when I ask my question and I get it answered, there’s just magic in the room when that happens.” This tech is part paid for by British philanthropists, including the Pears Foundation, and it has already gone global, including last year’s launch in Sweden. Testimony comes not just from English-speaking survivors. Of the 25 filmed for the NDT project, two spoke in Russian, two Spanish,

one Hebrew, one German and one Mandarin. This adds both audience and funding: Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG) helped to fund the filming of Russian-speaking survivors, with GPG co-founder Mikhail Fridman describing it as being of “immense personal importance”, while in China a national bank paid for the launch at the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall in 2017. “We found that different audiences asked different questions,” says Smith. “It makes sense, they have different cultures, histories, and philosophical perspectives. “American students tend to ask survivors if they believe in God, hate the Germans, forgive the perpetrators etc, whereas German students ask if survivors are proud to be German today, or how they feel about their German heritage.

It’s more about their own identity as young Germans, which is fascinating.” Different centres let visitors interact in different ways. In New York, you can walk in off the street and interact with a survivor, whereas at the National Holocaust Centre and Museum (NSCM) in Nottinghamshire, this is part of an educational package, moderated in an auditorium. The NSCM’s Forever Project is certainly popular, not least with schoolchildren, but it is not the museum’s only tech-focused installation. This month an exhibition on photography propaganda opened. The Eye as Witness uses technology to create a ‘mixed reality’ experience. A visitor enters a virtual world and ‘steps into’ a Nazi photo taken in the Warsaw Ghetto. Inside the image, they can observe

Pleased to meet you: Creating a virtual reality project using a ‘green room’


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75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition the photographer taking the shot, and study what was left outside the frame of the image. “While it is an excitingly creative use of technology to reconsider the past, its purpose is chillingly contemporary,” says Marc Cave, interim NHCM chief executive.“The exhibition invites critical thinking. It asks you to understand the visual cunning of the Nazis and how it helped permeate and legitimise antiJewish hate, and to think critically about the same propaganda techniques being used on social media today.” Assistant professor Paul Tennent from the Mixed Reality Lab at Nottingham University’s School of Computer Science put the exhibition together, and said it tested his team on various levels, including ethically. “The challenging context helps us to ask questions about the ethics of reconstructing sensitive scenes,” he says. “VR technology gives us a powerful tool to deliver these experiences in a deeply immersive and embodied way, but we have a responsibility to apply this with care. Everybody in that photo was a real person with emotions and a story to tell. It is not our place to embellish their story, but to tell it as best we can with the tools we have.” Educators are not the only ones with tools: there is a need to protect against the potential for those looking to rewrite history to corrupt testimony. “We have a massive issue with ‘deep-fake’ technology,” Cave said, referring to manipulation of video and audio of politicians or celebrities to make it look as if they said something they never did. Educators have to keep one step ahead with “closed-wall technology” that cannot be messed with. Despite the dangers and opportunities, the idea of using the latest development as the means and not the ends is a recurring theme. “We tend to be attracted to the glittering lights of technology, but what’s important is content,” says Smith. “The way we collect and organise that content, the way we allow the subject to speak about their lives and experiences, is what’s most critical. It’s not about the tech. It’s about how to you tell the story for the closest connection.”

SOCIAL MEDIA SPARKS AWARENESS

Display board for the My Secret Camera photography project

The Eye As Witness creates a ‘mixed reality’ experience

WHEN IT COMES TO THE HOLOCAUST, social media can be a platform for denial, but this month are being leveraged to inform, educate and raise awareness for this year’s special Holocaust Memorial Day. Among the examples is ‘Stand Together’ by Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT), in which users share the name of someone killed by the Nazis. Those visiting hmd.org.uk/StandTogether are given a name of a victim to share on their social media accounts, “standing together with thousands of others to honour the memory of individuals”. HMDT is also using Twitter to share hundreds of real-life stories of those affected by the Holocaust, Nazi persecution and more recent genocides, as this “often reaches a completely different audience to those who would usually see this kind of content”. Facebook is also getting involved. It has worked with Yad Vashem to promote the iRemember Wall on its platform. Each participant is randomly linked to the name of one of 4.8 million Jewish men, women and children in Yad Vashem’s archive. They can then share the individual they have been paired with via Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Among the eye-catching efforts to get influencers and others to share posts is the ‘Stop this Story’ campaign. Participants write ‘Stop this story’ on their palm then post photos of themselves holding their hand out. Those joining in include model Bar Refaeli, actress Vanessa Kirby (from The Crown) and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (above). “The best way to spread any message today is through social media,” said Moshe Kantor of the World Holocaust Forum Foundation and European Jewish Congress. “Instagram users are a significant demographic segment that is growing rapidly. Creating awareness of antisemitism is the first step necessary to stopping it.”

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Annual Spiro Tribute

Dreams and Realities of the Zionist Revolution with Professor Uriel Reichman Wednesday 5 February, 7.30pm, ÂŁ15 Join us for the Annual Spiro Tribute Lecture where Professor Reichman will explore the identity crisis facing Israel in current times. Will Israel continue to be a liberal democracy, or will it take on a non-liberal form based on the interests of the ultra-Orthodox? The Annual Spiro Tribute Lecture is sponsored by the Pears Foundation to celebrate the tremendous work of Robin and Nitza Spiro, and their contribution to Jewish cultural life in Britain over the last 40+ years.

jw3.org.uk/spiro-2020 Box Office 020 7433 8988 Finchley Road | 341-351 Finchley Road, London NW3 6ET


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75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition

We must tell our children and our children’s children Robert Rinder reflects on his grandfather’s experience

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was always aware my grandfather, Morris Malinicky, was a Holocaust survivor from Piatrakow, the same town as his friend, Sir Ben Helfgott. While we knew about the Holocaust, like so many of his generation we were only told the dark outlines of his story and not the colouring in of the details. There’s never a single moment when a survivor sits down and tells a story from beginning to end. Instead it emerges during a series of interactions, a jigsaw puzzle you have to piece together to form an understanding of what happened. I remember him being explosive around food, insisting we finished our meals, and then in later years when he passed away, we discovered little food parcels dotted about his home, at the back of wardrobes and in drawers, despite him being considerably comfortable. I understood then, how in ensuring we were always well-fed, he was expressing his love. There were other strange vignettes, moments that felt dislocated from anything especially relevant from my childish understanding. I remember him saying never to push yourself forward, before learning about his time in Schlieben, one of the sub camps at Buchenwald, where Ben was also sent. There were three works, A, B and C and he noticed that A looked easier, being located indoors away from the biting cold. Having been selected for work C, which looked much more arduous, he pushed himself quietly into A’s queue, where he was caught and beaten by a Nazi guard. But in the event, Work A was substantially more dangerous, for here they worked with toxic chemicals, reducing life expectancy to just three months. He would tell this story, a fleeting story sandwiched between the most banal, dayto-day existence, in-between telling jokes or whatever else and it would just emerge, as if it needed to be told and couldn’t be contained. All these incoherent tales and moments were explained away by the whispers of him being a survivor and what he’s been through. That in itself was a complicated thing, because you couldn’t talk to him, you couldn’t drive the conversation. You couldn’t be upset with him, because of what he’d been through.

Morris Malinicky, also pictured right after the war, with Robert at his barmitzvah

There was an unequivocal barrier and one which was much more profoundly, emotionally policed for my mum and auntie than for me as a third generation child. My first real glimpse into my grandfather’s life before the Holocaust came in 1998, when I travelled with him to Piotrków Trybunalski. We visited a place he once lived and there was this extraordinary moment where he recognised a woman there. She looked at him and he touched her. They didn’t say anything, but in the few seconds of their connection, there was a kind of a sense of the human divine. She was the only survivor of that building and her family had been the Shabbos goys. As a child, she played with my grandfather. There he was now, standing with his two grandsons – and she had no idea he had survived. Even then, as a young man, I wasn’t able to really appreciate the significance of this moment, but what I did understand was more about his Polish identity. That he was rooted in this land of distance, that there had been a Jewish community there, a richness and history that was there no longer. A couple of years ago, I was asked to go on BBC One’s Who Do You Think You Are? and as we began, I set out thinking I knew much about my grandfather, but I was totally wrong. There were many profound things that happened, from the unbelievable coincidence of sitting in my grandfather’s flat on the day of his 95th birthday, to discovering that the grandfather of Netanel, the historian helping

Robert with survivor Sir Ben Helfgott during his Who Do You Think You Are? episode

Barrister and television personality Robert Rinder

me, had owned the building and been one of my grandfather’s best friends. But there was no greater gift to my family than when Netanel found a book about life in Pietrokow, which included whole sentences about my family. That my great-grandfather, Elimelech, was a man who dotted about the place, a man small in stature, but high in hopes. That my grandfather’s sisters were good in school and enjoyed performing. Those words breathed life into them, gave them neshama, simply by reading the words of somebody who had a memory of them. My episode, which helped the series earn a BAFTA, was watched by seven million people and became the highest rated programme about the Holocaust for many years. There wasn’t a peep of antisemitism on social media and its success had nothing to do with the power of my celebrity. There were infinitely more famous people in the series. It was all to do with the story itself and how beautifully it was told. In the wake of the show’s success, I’m working with on a new two-part documentary, My Family, The Holocaust and Me, which follows the stories of second generation families. All, apart from my own, are located in Western Europe, which was really important. For a long time, we have come to understand the Holocaust as an Eastern European phenomenon, but it was in Germany where it fermented in the first place. This was not some cultural backwater. The Holocaust began in the most advanced political society in the world, teaching us we should never be complacent about democracy. We also wanted to explore the impact of trauma on the second generation, many of whom feel imbued with a quiet sense of responsibility to tell the stories of their parents, but who have often lived lives steeped in inherited trauma. And lastly we wanted to ensure instances of

the most profound heroism were not forgotten. We learnt about Marianne Cohn, who risked her life rescuing children by taking them across the Alps from southern France into Switzerland, and a man named Henk, who hid the grandfather of cellist Natalie Clein and her sister, Emmerdale actress Louisa Clein. Telling the stories of these heroes is important, because if people could choose, they would surely wish to be on the side of the morally righteous, those who made determined, death-defying choices to do the right thing. For second generation survivors there is never a sense of closure, nor will there ever be. It exists within you and affects the very prism through which you see the world. That was certainly true in my case and for my mother, Angela, who has taken over from Ben as president of the 45 Aid Society. In making this programme, I felt she was finally ready to go to Treblinka, to say Kaddish for our family members. The last known survivor of this incongruous place, Samuel Willenberg, died in 2016. As we were about to begin, director David Vincent suddenly told us there was in fact still another survivor, a man named Leon Rytz, from Gothenburg in Sweden. “He’s never been back here and he didn’t want to come,” said David. “But having seen your mum on Who Do You Think You Are? he decided he had to be here today.” As I turned round, I caught sight of this blue-eyed man and said, “Leon, tell me what happened here?” He simply put his head on his shoulder and sobbed. Opening her small siddur, my mum began Kaddish and as I was about to say the names of my family, to sing them into the air, Leon said: “Robert, this is for Kol Yisroel, for all the Jewish people.” It was the most profound moment of my life. Indeed, it is for all the Jewish people that we, the second and third generations, must ensure their stories continue to be heard. That their memories are never allowed to fade into a quiet whisper.

• My Family, The Holocaust and Me will be aired later this year


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Judith’s husband had escaped the Holocaust, but not Alzheimer’s. As a little boy, David had survived the Holocaust. Now in his 80s, he is succumbing to Alzheimer’s and his wife, Judith, is his sole carer, as well as looking after their two teenage children, running the house, dealing with all the finances etc. She had a mountain of issues which were causing worry and sleepless nights, and Judith felt completely overwhelmed and out of her depth. Fortunately, there was somewhere she could turn: Paperweight is a service for the Jewish community that helps people in just this sort of situation. The Paperweight caseworker, Clive, helped Judith begin to get the paperwork in order. Living off David’s pension, money is tight for the family, and Clive saw that Judith had an application for a reduction in Council Tax, which she hadn’t filled in. He helped her complete it, and a few weeks later, the £2,500 bill had been reduced to £500. Critically, Clive took charge of the application on David’s behalf from the Jewish Material Claim for Reparations

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Against Germany. It turned out that this could be worth up to £20,000 a year to David and his family. With Clive’s gentle but firm guidance, Judith was able to increasingly take charge of their affairs. Clive reported: “Judith is a completely different person from when we had our first meeting. She looks well, has confidence, purpose and knows that the to-do’s, which had previously felt like an iron belt around her are now just like feathers floating away in the wind.” If, like Judith you need help with financial, legal or benefits issues, or other paperworkrelated matters, we’re here for you. We’ll visit you at home, or you can come to us, and we’ll help you work through the situation. Our services are free. For more information about how Paperweight can help you (or you can help Paperweight), call 020 8455 4996 or visit paperweight.org.uk

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David Vishniya was born in Paris in 1928 to a Jewish, Zionist family. He and his siblings were all Members of the Resistance during World War II. In 1949, he immigrated to Israel and joined the IDF a year later as an engineer.

He fought in the Sinai Campaign and fell on November 5th, 1956 in the battle of Kithila leaving behind his pregnant wife, Chaya Vishniya Varnik who named their daughter Davida after her heroic father. IDFWO stands with them and thousands of other widows and orphans left behind by the heroes defending the state of Israel.

Chaya Vishniya Varnik receives a gift from the IDFWO on her 80th birthday as part of the Age of Wonders Program.

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27 January 2020 Jewish News

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75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition

Islamophobia and antisemitism go hand in hand, warn child refugees At first glance, 89-year-old Vera Schaufeld and 43-year-old Safet Vukalic have little in common – but both have lives scarred by genocide. As they speak to Mathilde Frot for Holocaust Memorial Day, they offer similar warnings One of 669 children rescued on Sir Nicholas Winton’s Kindertransport, Vera fled the Nazi invasion of the former Czechoslovakia at the age of nine. She waved goodbye to her parents from the train window as they stood behind the barriers at Prague Station. That was the last time she saw either of them. They were murdered in Trawniki, a sub-camp of Majdanek (Lublin) extermination camp. Vera, now a grandmother of four, received an MBE from Prince William last year for services to Holocaust education. Safet was 16 when soldiers stormed into his native Prijedor in 1992 to arrest all non-Serbian and non-Orthodox Christian men in the Bosnian town (he is Muslim). His father and older brother were deported to several concentration camps, but survived. Safet and the rest of his family escaped Bosnia in stages and were reunited in London in 1994. Now an accounts assistant and dad of two, he was awarded a BEM for services to genocide education in the 2020 New Year Honours. Gathered around the coffee table in Vera’s living room, the two look back as the world marks 25 years since the Srebrenica massacre and the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz–Birkenau.

Jewish News: You both fled before some of the worst atrocities. Has that experience influenced your determination to mark Holocaust Memorial Day? Safet: I left in the middle of it, in the summer of 1993, after everything kicked off in May 1992, so I spent some time there during the war and concentration camps. It’s the fact that I’ve been lucky enough. My dad survived three concentration camps, my brother survived two. We’ve all survived, we’ve all managed to get out. Justice is a hard thing to ask for, but it’s that sense of recognition. You want to make sure people know what happened, but also hopefully that the people who did this finally say, “yes, the regime at the time did this.”

leave Czechoslovakia – they didn’t have permission – but told me there were trains taking children to a country called England, which I’d never heard of. And that I would be with a family who would look after me, but as soon as they could, my parents would join me. They’d had to give £50 for the English government, so that anywhere in the world where they might be, the money would be there for me to join them. My mother explained this to me and said that, you know, we would be together as soon as possible. But in the meantime, I had to be very brave and go to this country called England. Safet: In school before the war, when it came to the Holocaust, to us it was a history lesson. You learn the number of people who were killed, where concentration camps were, those kinds of things. You never had contact with individuals. When I started working with the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, I had the honour and pleasure of meeting a number of survivors and then realising they were younger than I was during the Bosnian War... Leaving your parents behind or your siblings, this is not something you want to happen to anyone.

JN: Safet, you’ve said your mother saved your life. Can you tell us what happened? Safet: I always say that my mum saved my life because of what happened when soldiers came to our street and called for all men to come out, meaning all non-Serbs – it was a predominantly Muslim area. So all the men started walking up the road, with soldiers saying: “We’ll just question you and you’ll be returned.” You don’t argue with the army. I was 16 at the time, so I was quite tall. I used to say up until recently that my mum shouted at me, but I can’t say that [laughs]. So I’ve changed it to “My mum raised her voice at me.” She said, “Come back, you’re just a child. What are they gonna do with you?” So I just went back to the house. And I believe that saved my life. Had I gone, I believe I wouldn’t have

Vera: I felt this commitment for a very long time because my experience of having to leave my family and my home always seemed to me somehow lesser than the terrible experience of my husband, who, at the age of 13 in Poland, lost his education and spent his adolescence in Auschwitz, Buchenwald and many forced labour camps. So it took me a long time to really feel that my Kindertransport – which hadn’t been easy, and I lost my family, and so on – was as meaningful in its own way for me as the unimaginable experiences that my husband suffered.

JN: Vera, your parents sent you on the Kindertransport. What was that like, and how important is it to pay tribute to them? Vera: My mother met me outside school, which was very unusual, and took me to a park and sat me on a little bench and said that they couldn’t

Vera Schaufeld and Safet Vukalic have been honoured for Holocaust and genocide education

had the strength to deal with what you have to deal with to survive the concentration camps.

JN: You’ve also praised the actions of Bosnian Serbs who helped you. Safet: In terms of the neighbours and friends who were Serbs, a soldier who was a friend of a friend came over one day. This was when my dad and brother were in a concentration camp. He came over for coffee and, during our conversation, I mentioned I had bronchitis. And this guy, who I’d never met before, when everyone had left, came back with medication for me... It is one of the things I tend to mention when I’m talking about what the Serbian regime did; I did not forget the individuals who tried, in a way, to make a difference. Vera: I just wanted to say to you that my daughter’s Bosnian friend had a Muslim mother and a Christian Serb father, so that means in a period before that people could intermarry. And then when this started, you know, it was impossible for her parents, and she and her boyfriend got to England, but it was a terrible thing to be living in Serbia in a split family. Safet: Yes, so many examples. Some people thought things weren’t going to kick off in Bosnia because of that... It was so mixed in terms of the families, the friendships. Our neighbour was a Muslim married to a Serbian woman who was Orthodox Christian. She even had a sign at her house saying ‘Serbian house’, but he was still taken to a concentration camp. He was badly beaten – I think half of his ear was missing. Vera: Unimaginable…

Vera aged nine on her way to England, and inset, Safet as a youngster

JN: Are Jewish and Muslim communities doing enough together to preserve the memories of genocides? Safet: It’s been very pleasing to see the engagement of both communities to

remember the Holocaust and genocide in Bosnia, and learn from it, not just on the anniversary dates, but throughout the year. Vera: We are still in a situation where other communities are suffering and having terrible, terrible times, and I especially value what the charity Safe Passage is doing in trying to help children, and a lot of them I think are Muslim, who are living in appalling conditions and trying to join their families who are in England.

JN: Will the memories of the Holocaust and Srebrenica be passed on? Safet: That’s the one thing I’m hoping for... and that there will be more of an understanding of how these things start so you can hopefully prevent things from getting worse when they do start, but also understand what people go through and make sure there is more respect towards immigrants and refugees. We didn’t ask for these things. We didn’t ask to leave Czechoslovakia and Bosnia, and to be used and abused for someone’s political game is really hard to watch. It’s been a struggle to watch these things recently, and it seems to be getting worse, the rise of Islamophobia and antisemitism, which goes hand in hand. And that’s what people need to realise, it’s not one or the other. It’s both of them and not just in Europe. If you look at the US and what happened inNew Zealand, everywhere, it’s on the rise. We need to do more to make sure people understand what that does to the victims,the survivors, especially children. My best years as a 16-year-old shouldn’t have been spent dealing with war. Vera: The work the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and the Holocaust Educational Trust are doing is absolutely vital. More and more people are becoming involved and are beginning to understand what’s happening. And I like you have found it so valuable to go into schools and to get the kind of positive reaction.


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Jewish News 27 January 2020

www.jewishnews.co.uk

JN 75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition

Take up the baton and hold it tight SIR BEN HELFGOTT

SURVIVOR & FORMER OLYMPIAN

O

n Holocaust Memorial Day, I am more preoccupied than usual with thoughts and reflections of the events of 75 years ago, the horrors of the final months of the war, my liberation from Theresienstadt in May 1945 and the good fortune of my subsequent arrival in Britain a few months later. Now I’m 90, my memory is not what it was, but the recollection of those times and the precious memories of my parents, sister, cousins, friends and others who did not survive still remain fully in my mind. I have devoted a great deal of my time and energy to ensure they are not forgotten, and the history of their lives and those who came before them will be remembered. I was also determined that future generations would be aware of how a shared hatred can result in the most abominable persecution. I did this so we would be on our guard against it at all times in the hope that we would build a more tolerant society and a buffer against hate. After my experiences during the war, I felt compelled to do this, but I should say that throughout all this time, I did not let it totally dominate my life and I still enjoyed a most wonderful time with my family and many friends, building a business and enjoying sports, books and so much else. People often ask me whether I am

worried about whether the lessons of the Holocaust will be taught when, as is inevitable, there are no more living survivors. Of course I am justifiably concerned that the Holocaust will hereafter be given the importance it deserves, the appropriate emphasis afforded to it and with the right messages taken from it. At the same time, I pay tribute to so many people of different ages throughout this great country of ours, who have, over the past 40 or so years, given increasing respect to the survivors and listened to us. More than that, so many of you have done so much in sustaining the memory of those who perished and learning about the Holocaust. By doing so, you have had a profoundly beneficial influence by encouraging a more tolerant approach to so many important issues for society. This gives me great optimism and I owe you an enormous debt of gratitude. Although my determination and commitment to keeping the flame alive remains undimmed, I can no longer do what I once did. I say to those who have already taken up the baton, hold it tight and keep going. And to those who have not done so up to now, try to play a part in any way you can, so that when the time comes, future generations are not ignorant of what happened.

MY COMMITMENT REMAINS BUT I CAN NO LONGER DO WHAT I DID

Sir Ben comes face to face with his sculpture at the National Portrait Gallery

A new generation is bearing witness But, like other organisations dealing with Holocaust education, JRoots is aware there will soon come the time when there are no more first-hand accounts. “We have been making Hundreds of people in the UK and films with testimony and we are beyond have extended their knowlworking on new technology that edge of the Holocaust by visiting will allow people to converse with some of the sites in eastern Europe. holograms of survivors, as if they What was once unthinkable were there.” – returning to the areas of mass For Schiff, the importance of slaughter — has become an accepted Holocaust education is that it should part of Jewish lives, as those who not be glib. “If the messages are did not suffer try hard, sometimes superficial, trundling out slogans with the participation of a survivor, such as ‘never again’, it doesn’t work. to learn about the attempted Nazi Young people are more sophisticated annihilation of the Jews. and [what we tell people] needs to be One of the most vulnerable profound, deeper and more nuanced. groups in respect of Holocaust The legacy of the survivors is not education is the students, where the just that they are there, but of their imperative to get it right and deliver values, too, values that allowed them meaningful information has an to survive, flourish, rebuild their lives impact far outside the campuses. and their families.” The Union of Jewish Students (UJS) Sharron Krieger is the British has a dedicated staff member every values and outreach lead at JFS year who is responsible for Holoand is responsicaust education, ble for oversight providing students of much of the with commemoraschool’s Holocaust tion information education. She said: and material on “Holocaust educahow the Holocaust tion here pervades is reflected in all year groups. It is present-day camtaught from Year 9 pus antisemitism. upwards within the UJS director formal curriculum, Arieh Miller said within Jewish that where posStudies, through to sible, survivors the sixth form.” visited campuses to In Year 12, JFS speak about their students have the own experiences. opportunity to visit “Last year, no survithe sites of many vor was available, Nate Leipciger speaks to students at Auschwitz-Birkenau of the atrocities so we held an event in Poland; some have visited the labour camps, and the forests. And where there were second generation National Holocaust Centre and we don’t stop at 1945: we also look descendants of both a survivor and Museum in Nottingham. Krieger a camp guard – it was a very powerful at the revival of Jewish life in said the uptake for these trips shows modern Poland.” presentation.” students are still keen to learn about Although most of the MOTL Last year, UJS’s Holocaust the Holocaust, adding that both Jewparticipants are Jewish, there are programming reached an estimated ish and non-Jewish staff who go with sometimes non-Jews and there is 6,000 students, only half of whom the pupils are affected by the trip. a special bus for multi-faith leaders. were Jewish. The union provides JFS hosts the annual Brent HoloMOTL usually has survivors on resource material for individual caust Memorial Day seminar, for its annual visit, as does JRoots, the Jewish societies and works closely which seven schools in Brent send organisation that is almost certainly with the National Union of Students some of their Year 10 students to the largest provider of educational (NUS) to promote Holocaust educajoin JFS students to learn about the trips to Poland. Its mission is to take tion and counter antisemitism. Holocaust. They hear from a survipeople on “Jewish journeys” This year’s UJS sabbatical officer, to places of interest around the world vor and attend workshops about the Lauren Lethbridge, has created but, as Rabbi Naftali Schiff noted, last role of bystanders, moral dilemmas NUS’ Holocaust education site, and raised by the Holocaust and Holoyear, out of 95 JRoots trips, 75 were requests for material have been caust trivialisation and denial. to Poland, mostly of between three “flowing in” to UJS offices. As time has gone on, Krieger and seven days in length. Miller, like others involved in said, “very few students have family “Our mantra,” said Schiff, who is Holocaust education, stressed that executive director of Jewish Futures, members affected by the Holocaust “it cannot be done in isolation”. the umbrella body of which JRoots is and are far more removed from it”. He added: “It must be put in conBut, she added: “The challenge for a part, “is ‘visit the past, reflect on the text and, for us, show the impact the us is to keep the memory of the Holopresent, ensure the future.’” Holocaust has on today’s students caust alive and stress its importance For Schiff, “the most potent in terms of antisemitism and, for to our students. With a rise in Holoeducational tool” of all is a survivor, example, comparisons of Israel with caust denial, equipping our students explaining their Holocaust experithe Nazis.” ence in the places where it happened. with knowledge is vital.” If UJS had its way, it would take

by Jenni Frazer jenni@jennifrazer.com @Jennifrazer

every student to the death camps: the organisation works with the Holocaust Education Trust (HET) to take students on HET’s Lessons from Auschwitz programme. Many students do, however, go on the annual March of the Living (MOTL) programme, a six-day intensive educational experience in Poland with, this year, an additional day added to visit Bergen-Belsen in Germany. Cassie Matus, MOTL’s co-ordinator, said its focus was “not political or religious”. Participants come from every part of the Jewish community – this year there are 330 delegates on 10 buses, with a waiting list. “We start by looking at 1,000 years of Jewish history in Poland before the Holocaust,” she said. “It’s really important for people to understand Jewish life before. So we begin in Warsaw, looking at key figures in the Jewish community, before we move on to the death camps, the


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Jewish News 27 January 2020

JN 75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition

Righteous honours for our saviours Yad Vashem has recognised more than 27,300 heroes who saved Jews, writes Jenni Frazer

I

n among the many terrible and painful stories of the Holocaust, there are also moments of light, of heroism, of people who put themselves in inordinate danger to save Jews. Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Authority, Yad Vashem, was founded in 1953, but it was not until 10 years later, in the aftermath of the Eichmann trial, that its world-renowned Righteous Among the Nations programme was thoroughly launched. As Dr Joel Zisenwine, director of the Righteous department at Yad Vashem, explains, there is “no exact science” about naming someone for the honour, often mistakenly shortened to Righteous Gentile. But there are several criteria which always apply. “The actual recognition is not made by Yad Vashem itself, but by an independent Israeli public commission, which is headed by a retired Supreme Court judge”. The scheme only applies to non-Jews, and the documentation that supports an application should reflect an element of risk. “It doesn’t mean that there weren’t noble efforts or that we are belittling those, but unless there was personal risk, those deeds do not belong in the Righteous programme.” There is also, Dr Zisenwine says, a guideline about “active involvement or participation. A person won’t receive recognition simply for knowing, for example, that a Jewish person hiding in their house. The rescuer has to have been actively involved in aiding or rescuing Jews.” Additionally, there is the issue of the “initial motivation” of the rescuer. “We have had cases where someone saved someone and only after the war found out that the person they saved was a Jew. We need to know that, due to the pervasive conditions during the war, and the risk involved in helping Jews, that the candidate knew what they were doing.” And again, that leads to another ‘red line’ for the Righteous programme: the aid must be given “out of pure altruism, and not for financial

Coby de Groot and her daughter. Coby helped to hide Ria Gurfein

profit”. The Righteous programme requires first-hand testimony from the recipients of the aid: either written, or recorded or discussed within their family, so that the action of rescue is corroborated. These are tough conditions to satisfy, but based on these guidelines, 27,362 people have been recognised worldwide as of the beginning of last year. In that year alone, despite the passing of years, the Commission recommended that close to 400 people be named Righteous Among The Nations. Twenty-two British citizens hold the nominations, and about 260 Righteous are thought to be still alive worldwide, though Yad Vashem cannot confirm that figure. Based on the criteria laid down, Yad Vashem’s department for the Righteous will typically undertake painstaking detective work, matching the rescuer’s story with the recipient’s, and then hand the material to the commission for consideration. The process, says Dr Zisenwine, is “semi-legal”, adding to the authority and credibility of the award.

TWIN GIRL WAS HIDDEN

One of the most recent awards made was in June 2019, to a Dutch couple, Cornelis and Hendrieka de Groot, and their daughter Coby. A young Jewish couple, Markus

and Zilla Gurfein, he from Poland, she from Germany, had settled in Eindhoven, in the Netherlands, just before the war. In 1942, with the Nazis occupying the country, Zilla gave birth prematurely to twins: Robert and Ria. Immediately after giving birth, Zilla went into hiding with Markus and her parents. Nuns cared for the twins in the hospital in Eindhoven. When they were strong enough, the twins were hidden separately by the Dutch resistance in January 1943. Ria was taken in by Cornelis de Groot and his wife Hendrieka, or Riek. The de Groots had a 15-year-old daughter, Coby. Riek de Groot’s sister was active in the resistance and also hid Jews, and it was she who asked her sister and brother-in-law to hide the little girl. It was not easy to bring up a baby during the war, and the risk of betrayal made it very dangerous. Coby de Groot kept a moving diary for Ria’s parents, as a souvenir of the time their daughter had spent in hiding. The de Groots’ name for Ria was ‘Moeke’. The diary contains pictures and anecdotes about her and her development as a baby and toddler. Coby herself took on much of Ria’s care, regarding her as her little sister. With liberation in May 1945, the de Groots learned that Ria’s parents

had survived the war in hiding, as had her twin brother, Robert. Ria was returned to her parents. To make the transition a little easier, the teenage Coby de Groot even lived with the Gurfeins for a while. Markus and Zilla Gurfein had two more children after the war: Murry in 1947, and Sonja in 1949. The diary Coby wrote about Ria remained in the family. Ria died aged only 27, and so the diary was held and cherished by her younger sister, Sonja. Sonja Gurfein restored contact with Coby de Groot and applied for all the de Groot family to be recognised as Righteous Among the Nations, for saving her sister’s life. On 18 June 2019, Yad Vashem recognised Cornelis and Hendrieka de Groot and their daughter Coby as Righteous Among the Nations.

FIRST MUSLIM RECIPIENT Dr Mohamed Helmy was born in Khartoum in 1901 to Egyptian parents. In 1922 he went to Germany to study medicine and settled in Berlin. After completing his studies, he went to work at the Robert Koch Hospital in Berlin (later called Moabit Hospital), where he became head of the urology department, and witnessed the dismissal of Jewish doctors from the hospital in 1933.

Dr Helmy himself was not initially dismissed, but according to Nazi racial theory, as a non-Aryan he was fired from the hospital in 1938, and was unable to marry his German fiancée, Annie Ernst. In 1939 and again in 1940 he was arrested, together with other Egyptian nationals, but released a year later because of health problems. Despite being targeted by the regime, Dr Helmy spoke out against Nazi policies, and notwithstanding the great danger, risked his life and helped his Jewish friends. When deportations of the Jews from Berlin began, and Anna Boros (who became Anna Gutman after the war), a family friend, needed a hiding place, Dr Helmy took her to a cabin he owned in the Berlin neighbourhood of Buch, which became her safe haven until the end of the war. At times of danger when he was under police investigation, he would arrange for her to hide elsewhere, introducing her as his cousin from Dresden. The doctor also helped Anna Gutman’s mother, Julie, her stepfather Gerog Wehr, and her grandmother, Cecilie Rudnik. He provided for them, looking after their medical needs. He arranged for Rudnik to be hidden in the home of a friend, Frieda Szturmann. For more than

Dr Mohamed Helmy’s nephew collects his award in Berlin


27 January 2020 Jewish News

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75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition a year, Szturmann protected Rudnik and shared her food rations with her. All four family members survived the Holocaust. After the war they emigrated to the United States. In the 1950s and early 60s thety wrote to the Berlin Senate so that their rescuers would be honoured for saving Jews. Dr Helmy remained in Berlin and was finally able to marry his fiancée. He died in 1982. Frieda Szturmann died in 1962. Like many other cases, this story did not end with the official recognition. Following media reports about the honouring of Dr Helmy, an Israeli relative of Anna Boros-Gutman contacted Yad Vashem and connected the authority to Anna’s daughter, Carla. Carla provided photos showing her and her mother visiting Dr Helmy and his wife in Berlin in 1969, and documents she had found in her mother’s belongings revealing that Dr Helmy had used every possible means to protect Anna: he even got her a certificate from the Central Islamic Institute in Berlin, headed by the Mufti of Jerusalem, attesting to her converting to Islam, and a marriage certificate (in Arabic), saying she had wed a fellow Egyptian in a ceremony held in Dr Helmy’s home. A few months after the recognition, Frieda Szturmann’s grandson, who had read about the award in a German paper, contacted Yad Vashem. He said his grandmother had never wanted to talk about her courageous act, and that during the entire period, his father, Frieda’s son, was serving as a German soldier at the front. On 18 March 2013, Yad Vashem recognised Dr Mohamed Helmy and Frieda Szturmann as Righteous Among the Nations. Dr Helmy was the first Arab to be given the title.

TEN BRITISH POWs

In one extraordinary story, 10 British prisoners of war saved the life of a 16-year-old Jewish girl. In January 1945, Sarah Matuson (later Hannah Sarah Rigler) was among the inmates of Stutthof concentration camp who were taken on a death march towards the Baltic coast. The group of 1,200 women, including her sister, Hannah, and mother, Gita, were staggering in the snow, dressed in rags, with only clogs on their feet, with no food and under the heavy blows of the SS guards. Hundreds of women died on the way and only about 300 reached the village of Gross Golmkau (Golebiewo in Polish) 19 miles south of Gdansk. Sarah’s family was from Lithuania. Her parents had travelled to Palestine, where her older sister Hannah was born in 1925. But their immigration did not work out and the family moved back to Lithuania. They settled in Shavli (Siauliai), where Sarah was born in 1928. Sarah’s father was arrested with a group of other Jews soon after the German occupation in the end of June 1941. He was never seen again. The mother and two daughters were forced into the Shavli ghetto.

Despite the difficult conditions and the continued killing operations, they managed to survive until the summer of 1944, when they were taken with the remaining Jews of Shavli to Stutthof. As the Soviet army approached, they were taken on the death march. Sarah’s mother pleaded with her daughter to try to escape. It was painful to leave her mother, but finally Sarah decided to look for food for them. She managed to leave the line of prisoners unnoticed and found refuge in a barn, where she collapsed. It was here that she was found by the group of British prisoners of war. The men had been captured in 1940 in France, and had been transferred to the east, interned in a camp close to the Baltic coast, where they were engaged in various tasks in the German farms of the area. Finding Sarah, who was starved and exhausted, one of the prisoners of war, Stan Wells, gave her some food and then brought her to the other prisoners wrapped in an old army coat. Shocked by her poor physical condition, they decided to help her. The British POWs smuggled Sarah into their camp – Stalag 20B in Gross-Golmkau — where they hid her in a hayloft. They took turns to care for her. They brought food, tended her frostbite, applied paraffin to her hair against lice, and nursed her back to health. The danger of discovery was great: just outside their living quarters was a police station. The horses used by the police were housed in the same barn, and Sarah was hidden in the hayloft above them. Eventually, the POWs were moved. On the eve of their evacuation into Germany, they arranged for a local woman to take care of Sarah until the arrival of the Red Army. After liberation, Sarah found she was the only member of her family to have survived. She eventually settled in the US. In memory of her sister, she added the name Hannah to her own. For many years she tried to find her rescuers, but it was only 25 years after the end of the war that she managed to renew the contact. On 2 November 1988, Yad Vashem recognised Stan Wells, George

Fatima and Vesel Veseli (seated) with the Mandil family in Kruja, Albania

Hammond, Tommy Noble and Alan Edwards as Righteous Among the Nations; on 15 March 1989, it recognised Roger Letchford; on 11 October 2011, it recognised Bill Keeble, Bert Hambling, Bill Scruton, Jack Buckley and Willy Fisher.

ALBANIAN PROMISE

The Mandil family came from Yugoslavia, where Moshe owned a photography shop. When the Germans invaded Yugoslavia in April 1941, the family fled to the Kosovo province that was under Italian control, where Jews were relatively protected. Towards the end of the summer of 1942, the fugitives were moved deeper into the Italian-controlled area – into Albania – where most of the population was Muslim. The family – Moshe and Ela Mandil and their children, Gavra

and Irena – settled in Tirana. As he was looking up photography shops, Mandil chanced upon a store owned by one of his former apprentices, Neshad Prizerini. Not only did Prizerini offer Mandil work, but he also invited the family to stay at his home. In the shop, Mandil met Prizerini’s apprentice, 17-year-old Refik Veseli, who had been sent by his parents from their village, Kruja, to learn the trade of a photographer. After the German invasion of Albania the situation became dangerous for Jews, and Veseli suggested that the Mandils should move to his parents’ home in the mountains. Four of the Veselis would be honoured for their actions. Veseli and the Mandils set out on a long journey by mules over rocky terrain. They took side roads, moving at night and hiding in caves during

Numbers of Righteous Among the Nations per country Albania 75 Armenia 24 Austria 110 Belarus 660 Belgium 1,751 Bosnia 47 Brazil 2 Bulgaria 20 Chile 2 China 2 Croatia 118 Cuba 1 Czech Republic 118

Denmark* 22 Ecuador 1 Egypt 1 El Salvador 1 Estonia 3 France 4,099 Georgia 1 Germany 672 Greece 355 Hungary 867 Indonesia 2 Ireland 1 Italy 714

Japan 1 Latvia 138 Lithuania 904 Luxembourg 10 Macedonia 10 Moldova 79 Montenegro 1 Netherlands 5,778 Norway 67 Peru 2 Poland 6,992 Portugal 3 Romania 66

Russia 209 Serbia 139 Slovakia 602 Slovenia 15 Spain 9 Sweden 10 Switzerland 49 Turkey 1 Ukraine 2,634 United Kingdom 22 USA 5 Vietnam 1 Total: 27,362

the days to avoid detection by the German military. In Kruja, Moshe and Ela were hidden in a small room above the barn, while their children mingled with the Veseli children. Later, Refik’s brother, Xhemal, brought another Jewish family from Tirana: Ruzhica and Yosef Ben Yosef, and Yosef’s sister Finica. The two families stayed with the Veselis in their mountain village until liberation in November 1944. After the war, the Mandils returned to Yugoslavia, where Moshe reopened a photography shop. They invited Refik to live with them and to continue his training as a photographer. He stayed with the Mandil family until their emigration to Israel. In 1987, Gavra Mandil, Moshe’s son, wrote to Yad Vashem with his story. He said he felt an obligation in the name of all those saved in Albania to pay tribute to the Albanian people and to his rescuers in particular. The remarkable assistance afforded by Albanians to the Jews was grounded in the Albanian cultural concept of besa. Besa is a code of honour which means “to keep the promise”. One who acts according to besa is someone to whom one can trust one’s life and the lives of one’s family. Apparently this code sprang from the Muslim faith as interpreted by the Albanians. On 23 December 1987, Yad Vashem recognised Vesel and Fatima Veseli and their son, Refik, as Righteous Among the Nations. They were the first Albanians to be recognised. On 23 May 2004, Yad Vashem also recognised Hamid and Xhemal Veseli.


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Jewish News 27 January 2020

JN 75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition

As Muslims, we stand with Jews to pledge: Never again DR MUHAMMAD BIN ABDUL KARIM AL-ISSA MUSLIM WORLD LEAGUE

Before leading a Muslim delegation today to Yad Vashem comprising senior muftis and Islamic scholars, Dr Muhammad bin Abdul Karim al-Issa spoke exclusively to Jewish News about his motivation for going and how the Muslim world needs to approach the Holocaust

T

he Holocaust is truly the most horrific crime in human history, in which six million Jews perished at the hands of Hitler’s Nazi regime simply because they were Jews. This crime shook humankind. Only the malicious sympathise with it. These people are no less barbaric than the Nazis themselves, in terms of malevolence and brutality. Those who deny the Holocaust are equally criminal. God frustrated Nazi plans and

they met with the most horrible defeat. They went down in history as the scum of their era, cursed by the righteous, but some still bemoan their defeat today. These people share a common hatred of Jews and Muslims. Their abhorrence increases whenever Jews and Muslims work together. In the past, antisemites tried to encourage naive Muslims to join their ranks. They tried to demonise Jews by fuelling hatred and envy. This hatred, pushed by the evil upon some foolish people, is an

With Rabbi Arthur Schneier, of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation

Mohammad bin Abdul Larim al-Issa at an interfaith event at Park East Synagogue, New York

affliction that can accumulate over time into a culture. I say this having read and analysed religious and human history for many years. Today I have the honour of speaking on behalf of Muslim scholars and in the name of Muslim peoples under the umbrella of the Muslim World League. In their name, I say that we Muslims condemn, in the strongest terms, what happened in the Holocaust, and express our sorrow and sadness at what we consider to be a crime of unparalleled proportions in human history. We sympathise with our Jewish brethren and stand with them, just as we stand with all true lovers of peace, justice and goodness in our world. We join hands to prevent the recurrence of such a human tragedy and we will work together to confront all forms of hatred, especially that levelled against the most targeted religions and races, including antisemitism and Islamophobia. Human civilisation, with its multi-dimensional advancement, can bypass the ridiculous naivetés that seek to generalise individual

faults entirely unrelated to religion or race. That is why, in September, prior to signing the historic Abrahamic family’s Paris Agreement, I called for a ‘new world order’ for education focusing on human values in the same way that we focus on subjects like science, to boost the moral side of the family. When I lead the delegation of Muslim scholars to express the feelings of the Muslim world regarding that heinous and brutal crime, we will tell the entire world that when we sympathise with the pain of our Jewish brothers, we sympathise with ourselves against this evil. Our previous letter to the director of the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, made a significant impact in the Muslim world. It spread a necessary awareness about that Nazi crime and the relationship of Muslims to Jews, who the Qur’an addressed by saying: “O Children of Israel, remember my favour that I have bestowed upon you and that I preferred you over the worlds,” Surah Al-Baqara, Verse 47. The Medina charter, signed by the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, contained important

constitutional clauses clarifying Islam’s position on Judaism as a religion. The problems discussed in some religious texts speak of political differences, which have nothing to do with religion at all. We must remember our history. The Qur’an appreciates the position of Prophet Moses, peace be upon him, as the prophet God singled out to speak to directly. Many Muslims today call their sons Moses, Isaac, Jacob, David, Solomon, and Joseph. Some call their sons Israel. We also remember that the Prophet Muhammad’s wife Safiyya bequeathed a third of her money to her Jewish brother, and that the Prophet’s neighbour was a Jew whom he visited – if he had so wished, he could have selected someone else as a neighbour. Furthermore, the prophet died while working with Jews in Medina in superb coexistence. Let us remember all of this as we visit Yad Vashem today. • Dr Muhammad bin Abdul Karim al-Issa is Secretary General of the Muslim World League and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the World Organisation of Muslim Scholars

AS YEARS GO BY, WE MUST WORK HARDER TO REMEMBER SADIQ KHAN MAYOR OF LONDON

NEARLY FOUR YEARS AGO, I attended a Yom HaShoah memorial event on my very first day as Mayor of London. It’s a day I’ll never forget. I remember hearing the deeply moving accounts of the Holocaust survivors, the stories of the unimagi-

nable emotional and physical pain they endured and the incredible way they had led their lives ever since – determined to make sure that this crime against humanity never fades from our collective memory. As the years pass, and as we have fewer brave survivors to pass on their stories, it’s vital that we work even harder to ensure that younger generations learn the lessons from the darkest time in history. A crucial part of this effort must be to preserve the Auschwitz–Birk-

enau memorial. That’s why I’m pleased to be joining other cities and countries around the world in giving a grant to the Auschwitz–Birkenau Foundation, which will help with the ongoing conservation of this site. I visited Auschwitz–Birkenau for the first time as an MP many years ago. Nothing can prepare you for that experience. We all learn about the horrors of the Holocaust in the classroom at school, but it’s incomparable with actually visiting

a former concentration and extermination camp, where the true extent of the suffering that occurred hits you in such a profound way. As hard and as haunting as they can be, these kinds of visits and experiences are so important. They help us to ensure that we never forget those who were killed and that we learn about where prejudice, racism and hatred can lead if they are allowed to fester unchecked. This feels more important now than ever as we confront

the depressing reality that antisemitism is on the rise once again around the world. So, as we mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, we must remain committed to defiance and unity in the face of those who would seek to divide us. We must stamp out antisemitism wherever it rears its ugly head. And we must be resolute in our mission to educate people about the Holocaust and to teach the next generation the vital lessons of the past.


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Stand Together Holocaust Memorial Day 27 January 2020

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JN 75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition

The BAG from hell An unexpected find broke the silence surrounding her mother’s history. Hephzibah Rudofsky (Kohn) shares the story behind the artefacts her grandmother brought out of Bergen-Belsen

Sewn on the left-hand side of one’s outerwear, this is the the star my grandmother wore in Holland, where Jews had to purchase them

W

hen I was growing up, my mother rarely spoke about her experiences during the war. That in itself was a challenge – knowing that my mother, Zahava Kohn, had endured a horrifying childhood in Bergen-Belsen, but was unable or unwilling to speak about it. My mother coped by shutting away this part of her life. And I think she did this also to protect our family. Or was it because no one had asked her about her childhood experiences? Did she feel no one would understand what she had been through? All this changed in 2001. After my grandmother died, when my mother was clearing out her mother’s possessions, she came across a large bag at the back of a cupboard.

Zahava, aged seven

Zahava and her parents, Amsterdam, 1938

Photo of my uncle, Jehudi, that was smuggled into Westerbork

Note indicating my grandfather’s declining health

Westerbork work card

THIS BAG held the extraordinary story of the Kanarek family, in the form of fragments of papers, letters, documents, and photographs that my grandmother had managed to keep during their wartime ordeal. The contents of the bag triggered memories of the war and proved a watershed moment for my mother. I often think how easy it would have been to discard this bag, throwing away the evidence of an almost unbelievable history. But she kept it – and with it, the story of my mother’s life from her birth in 1935 until 1945 when Bergen-Belsen was liberated – and beyond. My mother could have been safe and living in Palestine when Nazism gripped Europe, for her parents had already moved there in 1935. But when my grandmother became very ill, they were advised to return to Europe – so they decided to move back to Holland in 1937. It was a move that would seal their fate. Piecing together the story from these artefacts has been poignant. The contents shed light and add a new dimension to their hideous ordeal. These artefacts added detail, colour and a narrative of which my mother hadn’t been aware. She realised the effort her mother had gone to keep these documents. It allowed her to unlock her memory and start to speak about this part of her life.

roll calls in all weathers – the freezing winters, the blistering hot summers. The lack of sanitation. The pervasive disease. The lack of medical care. The unpredictability, the fear, the pain and suffering, the delicate balance between life and death.

Baby and beans

The tiny photograph of my uncle, Jehudi, which was smuggled into Westerbork in a bag of raw beans by the Dutch Resistance, has indescribable meaning for me. My grandparents handed over their 16-month-old son to the Dutch Resistance in December 1942. As a mother myself, I find it impossible to imagine what it must have been like to make that decision. I look at this photo and imagine how overwhelmed my grandmother must have been to receive this tangible, visual reminder that her son was still alive, safe and well. In the midst of the danger and brutality of Westerbork, this photograph must have been exceptionally precious to her.

New year greetings

The Rosh Hashanah card that my mother made and gave to her parents in Westerbork in 1943 is another piece of living history. I had no idea they were still able to mark Rosh Hashanah at this time and in these conditions. My mother was aged only eight and had missed several years of education. I’ve always wondered who helped her find this piece of card and colored pencils – and who helped with the message. Dear Parents I hope that next year we will be in better circumstances. In the meantime, Shana Tova ( happy new year and may you be inscribed in the book of life). Four months later, in January 1944, my mother and my grandparents were sent to Bergen- Belsen.

Citizenship

Honduras citizenship document

Rosh Hashanah card

The Honduras citizenship papers that could have been the passport to a safe haven – but arrived too late. The coded cards from the Resistance to the family in Switzerland and to my grandmother in Westerbork giving snippets of information about Jehudi in hiding. The detailed work cards from my grandparents in Westerbork and Bergen-Belsen. The notes indicating my grandfather’s deteriorating health at the end of 1944. All these beg the question how they were able to muster the energy to work in these gruelling conditions. They were starving, poorly clad and suffering from disease. I think of the daily

Starvation

Holding the three tin bowls from Bergen-Belsen that had belonged to my mother and my grandparents is chilling. Bergen-Belsen was a starva-


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75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition tion camp. The only food these bowls ever contained was the watery turnip soup the prisoners received each evening. Many people would have discarded these bowls after the war, eager to put the past behind them. I wonder what motivated my grandmother to keep them.

Letters home

There are numerous letters from my grandmother in Bergen-Belsen to her parents in Zurich. She is forced to write that they are all healthy and well and asks them to send food parcels. These letters were part of a terrible deception by the Gestapo. Reading them, I’m appalled at how they tried to dupe my greatgrandparents, the Guttmanns. What must they have thought after the war when they realised the full horror their daughter and family experienced? It’s unimaginable.

Matzah

There are the letters from my grandfather to his in-laws in Zurich from Biberach in March 1945. Despite all they had suffered, his concern was only to receive matzah in time for the beginning of Pesach. This evidence of an undimmed faith and allegiance to Jewish tradition continues to impress me. Many members of the family had died. He did not even know his son was alive at this point, but his Jewish identity remained solid.

Notes from Bergen-Belsen

First Aid

The leather medical kits they were each given in Biberach remain untouched and in pristine condition. This is hardly surprising – bandages and ointment were of no use to the dying, the starving and the thousands racked by typhus.

Back to school

We have some wonderful post-war photographs too. It’s hard to select just one – but the 1947 photograph of my mother back at school in Amsterdam always touches me. Every child in the photograph is smiling. But what lies behind those smiles? What memories do they conceal? How many parents, siblings, aunts, uncle, cousins and grandparents have they lost? Each child has either survived a concentration camp or been hidden. Yet the photo speaks also of hope for the future. These children have their lives ahead of them and the prospect of growing up in a better world. The photograph of the Kanareks in Scheveningen in 1961 illustrates a new chapter in their lives. It is a testament to their resilience that the members of this family rebuilt their lives – their resolve and determination for a new beginning. It has an added poignancy as, the next summer, my mother met my late father, Ralph Kohn, in Scheveningen, The Hague. It’s impossible to convey in words what it feels like to see and hold these documents and objects (now protected in archival slips) and feel that physical connection with the past. It has brought my family history to life in a way I could never have imagined. Delving into my mother’s past has increased my sense of Jewish history and identity. It has also enormously increased my admiration and appreciation for her remarkable strength and resilience. In spite of carrying the burden of a terrible past, my mother has managed to move forward, start afresh and create a family built on foundations of love and Jewish tradition.

Medical kit

Kanarek family, Amsterdam, August 1941

Class photo, Amsterdam, 1947

Scheveningen, 1961

My parents’ civil wedding, Amsterdam, February 1963 My mother Zahava and I, in 2018


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Jewish News 27 January 2020

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JN 75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition

From darkness to greatness Deborah Cicurel pays tribute to survivors who went on to leave their extraordinary mark on the world HELLA PICK

Born in Vienna in 1929, Hella Pick was put on a Kindertransport by her mother after Germany annexed Austria in 1938. She went to school in the Lake District, and her mother joined her three months later. Studying at the London School of Economics, Pick decided to become a journalist, spending 35 years with The Guardian. One of the only female journalists in what was then a largely male-dominated career, Pick travelled around the world, covering everything from the Watergate scandal and Martin Luther King’s march from Selma to Montgomery, to the Cold War and the collapse of the Berlin Wall. She is now aged 90, has a CBE and has also written two books: Simon Wiesenthal: A Life in Search of Justice and Guilty Victim: Austria from the Holocaust to Haider.

PROF. LESLIE BRENT

Born Lothar Baruch in Koslin in 1924, Leslie Brent was placed in a Jewish orphanage to avoid persecution in 1936, and later would be sent to Britain on one of the first Kindertransports in 1938. He went to school in Kent, and studied zoology at Birmingham University. Brent enjoyed a career as an eminent zoologist, in which he co-discovered acquired immunological tolerance with Peter Medawar and Rupert Billingham. He was also a valued member of the Association of Jewish Refugees, and often spoke at events and commemorations. Brent died last year aged 94.

DAME STEPHANIE SHIRLEY

Arriving in Britain on the Kindertransport aged five in 1939, Dame Stephanie Shirley lived with foster parents in Sutton Coldfield, attended a convent school and later moved to Oswestry. Dame Shirley was determined to conquer the male-dominated industries of technology and mathematics, taking evening classes and learning how to build computers on her own. She founded her own software company with just £6 and, as a response to the sexism she had encountered, decided to hire predominantly women and even took on the name “Steve”. She built up an enormous business, the F1 Group, from which she made a £150 million fortune, and now concentrates on philanthropy, having given away more than £65m to charitable causes.

ROMAN HALTER

Born in 1927 in Chodecz, Poland as the youngest of seven children, Roman Halter was 12 when the Second World War broke out. From 1940 to 1945 he endured the trauma of the Lodz ghetto, Auschwitz-Birkenau and Stutthof concentration camps and slave labour in a factory in Dresden. Escaping a death march, Halter was hidden by a German couple until the liberation, and was then brought to England in 1945 along with other young survivors known as “The Boys”. Halter became an esteemed architect and painter, best-known for his intricate stained glass windows, seen at

Yad Vashem and a number of wellknown synagogues.

FRANK MEISLER

Born in Danzig (now Gdansk) in Poland in 1925, Frank Meisler was put on the Kindertransport in 1939. Three days after he left, his parents were arrested, held in the Warsaw Ghetto and murdered at Auschwitz. Meisler was raised by his grandmother in London, going to school in Harrow, serving in the Royal Air Force and studying architecture at the University of Manchester. Moving to Israel in 1960, he set up a workshop in Jaffa. He created a number of wellknown public works, including a series of Kindertransport memorials in European cities, such as the bronze sculpture Kindertransport – The Arrival, in London’s Liverpool Street Station. He died in 2018 at the age of 92.

Top: Kindertransport refugee Hella Pick. Above: Shoah survivor Roman Halter

FRANK AUERBACH

Born in Berlin in 1931, Frank Auerbach was sent to Britain on the Kindertransport in 1939. His parents would later be murdered in the concentration camps. Auerbach went to a boarding school for Jewish refugee children, and later attended St Martin’s School of Art and the Royal College of Art. He has become known as one of the 20th century’s most notable painters, highly esteemed for his distinctive paintings of cityscapes and urban streets, and for his portraits of family and friends, all applied with his signature style of very thick layers of paint. His work has been exhibited worldwide.

Frank Auerbach came over to Britain on the Kindertransport in 1939

SAFEGUARDING HISTORY IN THIS ERA OF FAKE NEWS DR TOBY SIMPSON DIRECTOR, THE WIENER HOLOCAUST LIBRARY

One of the world’s most respected voices on the subject of Holocaust denial, Dr Deborah Lipstadt, has warned that the passing of the survivor generation will remove a vital barrier against deniers. Lipstadt argues that while ‘hardcore’ denial remains subdued, ‘softcore’ denial –

where the facts of the Holocaust are not falsified, but downplayed or overlooked – is on the rise. Although even ‘softcore’ denial remains relatively rare in mainstream discourse, the outer reaches of the web provide fertile ground for false narratives, conspiracy theories and outright lies. In these virtual spaces, ‘hardcore’ Holocaust denial can emerge, for example, in the fantasies of murderous extremists such as the Halle synagogue attacker. Despite, or perhaps because of, their callous

lack of regard for the truth, upholding the historical record remains critical, with or without the help of survivors. The greatest danger posed by extremists is arguably the repercussions of their actions on mainstream society. In April 2000, reporting on the Irving-Lipstadt trial, Jonathan Freedland wrote: ‘Holocaust revisionism is an assault not only on Jews but on history itself – the very business of understanding the past’. Against Irving’s distortions, history emerged triumphant in court.

The foundation on which that verdict rests is not the testimony of survivors, but the painstaking research of professional historians. Three-quarters of a century after the liberation of Auschwitz, historical knowledge about the Holocaust is more extensive than ever. The tens of thousands of volumes in The Wiener Holocaust Library represent an extraordinary collective achievement of scholarship. Many leading historians of the Holocaust were themselves survivors and refugees from Nazism. We cannot take

their legacy for granted. This week brought the terrible news that the YIVO institute, the world’s biggest Yiddish research centre, has been forced to lay off its library staff due to lack of funds. In the years to come, we must defend the historical record, and this means funding the libraries and archives that are its guardians. If we do not, we will emerge not only bereft of the survivors, but also without the best defence against denial won within their lifetimes: the evidence.


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75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition

Tech giants can Bigotry I face as help halt hate HET ambassador IMRAN AHMED

JAYA PATHAK

CHIEF EXECUTIVE, CENTER FOR COUNTERING DIGITAL HATE

T

he digital world is not the same as the offline world. What works in one doesn’t necessarily work in the other. Hate actors are adept at understanding and creatively exploiting the digital world. One way they spread antisemitism and Holocaust denial is the parasitic tactic of ‘trolling’ public figures on social media with abuse, hateful ideas and misinformation in order to trigger a reaction that amplifies their spread. It helps if we consider an actual example. If we saw someone preaching Holocaust denial in the middle of the street, we would challenge them, in part on moral grounds, in part to ensure onlookers didn’t hear only lies. In the digital world, direct engagement, however, can be counterproductive. Denselyinterconnected but low-reach hate actors may have hundreds of followers, but that’s because they’re all following each other. When they spout hate, in reality they spout it only to each other, and the broader public doesn’t see it. But if a public figure targeted by trolls reacts to antisemitic abuse and responds directly or retweets their lies with a comment, they first rebroadcast their message to their followers, and, second, signal to the platform’s algorithm that this is a post that drives engagement, time spent on the platform, and thus advertising dollars, pushing it up other user’s timelines. Engaging them online is the offline equivalent of handing them a megaphone. A better response is to ignore the post, block trolls and, if the content breaches rules or laws, report it to the platform or law enforcement. To counter misinformation, far more powerful in the battle for truth is not to amplify untruths, but instead share educational material to our audiences from, say, the Holocaust Educational Trust or Yad Vashem. This may even help to inoculate a public figure’s

followers against exposure elsewhere. The truth is that we have been doing quite the opposite for far too long, inadvertently pushing the arguments of antisemites into millions of users’ timelines, making antisemitism and Holocaust denial feel more widespread and normal than they really are. This counterproductively helps to normalise it. The Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) was set up to inform people about the nature of hate in the online world, the tactics it uses and how to counter their strategies. This is why we launched, with endorsements from Rachel Riley, Gary Lineker and a host of other celebrities, our #DontFeedTheTrolls initiative, telling social media users to ignore, block and report trolls and then to take time for self-care, because getting abuse is always horrid. We also believe that technology companies must act, but they have proven reluctant. To date, their responses to campaigners have varied from denial, delay to outright gaslighting. No more. In December, our celebrity patron, Rachel Riley, tweeted images of posts CCDH found on Facebook groups in which Nazi-level hate was being preached to thousands of members. The groups – one of which was first reported to Facebook by the Community Security Trust more than two years ago – were shut down within days thanks to the harsh glare of public exposure by a high-profile figure. In 2020, we are escalating our efforts to force them to do the right thing. It’s hard for tech giants to argue publicly against shutting down groups in which images of Hitler, black people portrayed as apes, and Jews with cloven hooves are spread widely. We’ve had enough of cynical diversions. The time of arguing over algorithms, artificial intelligence detection and what constitutes hate is over. Tech giants need to demonstrate the will to act, now, to stop hate spreading.

Rachel Riley, Gary Lineker and other public figures have backed #Don’tFeedTheTrolls

HOLOCAUST EDUCATIONAL TRUST REGIONAL AMBASSADOR AND GUEST EDITOR

Israeli historian Prof Yehuda Bauer addresses Holocaust Educational Trust ambassadors

S

urely we don’t need another charity for Holocaust education? It’s been years and I’m sure it was just another Jewish exaggeration…” A group sitting opposite me on the bus stared at my T-shirt, which bore the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) logo. I was immediately taken aback and my stomach dropped. I felt a mixture of confusion, sadness and anger – how is this happening in the 21st century? This is why I do what I do, I thought to myself. Remembering everything I knew and had learnt so far as a Regional Ambassador, I decided to challenge their comments. By the time I got off the bus, they had apologised to me and retracted what they said. “Action is the only remedy to indifference,” a statement once made by Elie Wiesel, is a message essential to the core of what we do as Regional Ambassadors. However, with the responsibility of taking action comes challenges, especially in the digital age, where the increasing ease of accessibility of the internet and the difficulty of regulation makes online abuse the most prominent form that we experience, and we only have to be asked once to be able instantly to share examples of this. One ambassador found her personal information, including her university name and work address, circulated on Twitter by a member of a Holocaust denial group she had called out on social media. On an online denial forum, a colleague found a thread set up with comments that she had “sold her soul to the Jew”; another told me about antisemitism on his university’s anonymous Facebook page. The list goes on.

It is easy to feel disheartened when we have these negative experiences, but it serves as a source of motivation for us to keep going. How can our desire to do what we do waver when we work alongside the very people who are our inspiration – the survivors, who experienced the very worst of humanity yet who lead us in the fight against antisemitism and Holocaust denial day in and day out without giving up? This makes us more determined to keep going, and it is with great support, including that of the team at HET, that we are able to meet those challenges. The fact that together we are resilient in our goal of continuing this important work, which is so pivotal to the shaping of our society today, while continuing to overcome the challenges that we face, is a shining torch in the darkness that is antisemitism. What this persistent abuse shows us is how much work we still have to do, and it is the collective responsibility of humankind to defend the truth of the worst genocide in history. We know exactly where prejudice and discrimination can lead to if they are left unchecked, no matter their origin, and we will not stop the work we do because, despite saying ‘never again’, it seems to be again and again. We will not back down, but continue to educate society about the Holocaust and the lessons we have learnt from it. It is our duty to the victims of the Shoah, to the Jewish and minority communities as a whole, and we hope we can give the survivors the peace of mind to know that as long as we are here as the pioneers of the future, we commit to this promise and their history will live on.


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75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition

Stamford Bridge mural brings club’s goal to life THE GOVERNMENT’S INDEPENDENT ADVISER on antisemitism has urged other football clubs to emulate Chelsea’s campaign against antisemitism. Lord John Mann warned his voice “will get more brutal” if more teams don’t start to seriously tackle stadium racism. He made his remarks at the launch of a giant mural by British-Israeli artist Solomon Souza honouring three footballers who were imprisoned by the Nazis, part of the club’s Say No To Antisemitism campaign. The artwork was commissioned by owner Roman Abramovich for Holocaust Memorial Day on Monday, 27 January. It depicts Julius Hirsch, capped seven times for Germany, and Hungary winger Arpad Weisz. Both died at Auschwitz. It also portrays Ron Jones, a British prisoner of war who died last year, aged 102. Lord Mann told an audience of 150 people at Stamford Bridge: “If I thought this was a PR stunt, I wouldn’t be here. It could have huge ramifications in the fight against hate. I want other premier league clubs to follow Chelsea’s lead and speak out. I have a voice and it will get more brutal if they don’t.” During the event, chaired by Jewish News editor Richard Ferrer, club captain Cesar Azpilicueta, midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Chelsea Women’s star Anita Asante reflected on the importance of educating

Artist Solomon Souza at work

their fans against intolerance. Azpilicueta said: “This mural means a lot. It’s three people who loved football. It’s important to make people aware of the issues. We are doing more and more, and I’m proud to be an ambassador, to meet survivors. I hope we can keep fighting because every step matters. Bruce Buck, chairman of Chelsea FC, reaffirmed the club’s commitment to the project, saying it was “never ending” with “no time frame”. He added: “Maybe if antisemitism stops we’ll stop – but that’s not likely in our lifetime. It’s a very important project for Roman.”

Players Cesar Azpilicueta and Ruben Loftus-Cheek urge fans to back the campaign

UNDERSTANDING IS EVERYONE’S DUTY BY ROBERT PESTON JOURNALIST & PRESENTER GROWING UP IN THE 1960s and 1970s, I was frightened of the wicked stepmother in Disney’s Snow White, Daleks and Hitler. Although

I was born long after the Second World War, it and the Holocaust were huge parts of my shared consciousness. Hitler represented a

personal threat, because every member of my immediate and extended family was Jewish. Only some of us were religious. I define myself as a secular and cultural Jew (some of my happiest memories are of my mum’s latkes and grandma’s smoked salmon bagels, of spilling the Palwin wine at Passover and of a strong

The mural depicts three Auschwitz prisoners, two of them Jewish football stars

sense of pride and identification when reading Isaac Bashevis Singer as a teen). But my agnosticism was irrelevant. I, and many of us in north London, were aware that – to an important extent – what made us Jews was not whether we chose to be Jewish. It was that Hitler would have made that identification for us, and tried to exterminate us, no matter how assimilated we felt. This was not just history.

It was our family’s memory. Shortly before my adored grandpa Joe Cohen died in his 90s, he wept as he told me of the siblings he left behind in Poland when he came to London’s East End as a small child. He never saw them again. They were wiped out by the Nazis. So it has frightened me to meet educated, tolerant and kind people who have so little knowledge of the Holocaust or hold deep misconceptions.

Few have any sense how a society that prided itself as a model of modern civilisation could become genocidal. Most see 1930s Germany as a place so remote as to be largely irrelevant. That is dangerously wrong. Antisemitism is, in a profound sense, an assault on all of us. In our era of politics fuelled by identity and, too often, by hatred of difference, understanding the Holocaust is not just for Jews but everyone.


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Students at Yavneh High school in Dimona visit the Holocaust survivor day centre in the southern city of Dimona during Chanukah

There are more survivors in Israel than anywhere else. Jodie Cohen speaks to four charities who ensure they are well cared for

‘Giving honour’: a medical check-up supplied through United Hatzalah’s Ten Kavod

Help for survivors livin Supporting survivors in the poorest communities JNF’s mission, to develop Israel, is well known. What is less well known is its work supporting those in social, as well as geographic peripheries. Many survivors fall into this category, and JNF works with the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel, the main NGO working in this area. In the past three years, JNF has spent £150,000 supporting survivors, and in 2020 has allocated £220,000 for numerous projects. The Living with Dignity project, for example, renovates 100 apartments for survivors each year, making them accessible for their changing physical needs. An Emergency Fund means that if someone falls, they can access money for a wheelchair or other support, which is a lot quicker than applying for government funds. And Project Connected involves young volunteers visiting survivors in their homes each week. In the past year, they have provided 50 survivors with laptops and wifi, and taught them how to use the internet, helping to ease their isolation. “It was like a dream that was fulfilled,”

says survivor Batsheva Dagan. “It is very important for me. I have many friends all over the world and it is a wonderful way of communication. To me, the computer is the world. It gives me the feeling that I am still young.” Yonatan Galon, Chief Executive Officer of JNF UK, says: “My grandparents were Holocaust survivors so this is personal. The loneliness many survivors suffer is unbearable. Giving them attention, listening to them and speaking to them has an amazing impact. “With time running out, it has never been more important to support those who survived the Shoah.”

Covering costs, uniting families Magen David Adom is Israel’s incredible medical emergency and blood service. When it became apparent that many Holocaust survivors hesitated to call an ambulance if they had a health issue or emergency, because they worried about the cost involved, MDA UK stepped in. In Israel, MDA is mandated by law to charge for ambulance pickups through the country’s various health funds. So MDA UK decided to set up the Holocaust Survivors’ Fund. This specifically covers the costs of

ambulance services so that no survivor has to hesitate again before they call for help. In 2019, the 550 cases cost the fund 250,000 NIS (about £56,000). MDA also facilitates the Family Tracing and Reunification Unit, which helps to reconnect people separated from their families due to war or disaster. This is carried out in conjunction with Red Cross associations around the world, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Tracing Service (ITS). Over the years, the unit has been successful in reunifying hundreds of people. “Magen David Adom is committed to saving more lives,” explains Daniel Burger, Chief Executive of MDA UK. “Particularly when it comes to Holocaust survivors, there is an additional responsibility to ensure that these remarkable individuals are looked after by the State and its institutions.” Time is running out. Much work is clearly being done to ease the suffering of survivors in their final years, yet we don’t have much time left to help. It is thought that 40 Holocaust survivors die each day. In 2020, let’s all commit to doing more before it’s too late.

Brightening faces and lives Meir Panim means ‘brightening faces’ and this organisation’s work certainly does that. Its goal is to alleviate poverty all across Israel and for the past decade, tens of thousands of disadvantaged people, including survivors, have turned to them as their source of hope for a brighter future. It runs numerous services, including restaurant-style food centres, meals-on-wheels, food shopping cards, holiday and Shabbat challah packages, and home furnishings and equipment distribution centres. In October 2018, Meir Panim opened a specific Holocaust survivor day centre in the southern city of Dimona, in partnership with the municipality. The group, of about 30 survivors, meets three days each week for meals and various activities, providing emotional support and community connection. Together, they celebrate birthdays, milestones and share stories. “We hope to raise funds to open the centre for five days a week in the future and to replicate the centre in other locations,” explains Gabriel Blauer, Executive Director of Manna, Meir Panim’s UK branch. “Having survived the horrors of one of the darkest times in human history, it is


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The centre is the only facility of its kind in the north and is open to the public and for group or educational visits.

About us: The HELC opened in 2018. The permanent interactive exhibition, Through Our Eyes, features the stories of 16 Holocaust survivors and refugees who made new lives in Yorkshire. The exhibition is open to the public Monday to Thursday from 10am-5pm and Friday from 10am-1pm. School visits: Our Active Learning Sessions for school groups are targeted at upper Key Stage 2 through to A-level students and beyond. All sessions are cross-curricular. Forthcoming events Regular talks and events are held at the centre, please see the website for details.

For more information or to book a group or school visit, go to: holocaustlearning.org.uk or ring 01484 471939

ing in Israel tragic that today, thousands of Holocaust survivors are forced to live out their final years in poverty and loneliness.”

Giving honour to survivors United Hatzalah’s Ten Kavod (‘Giving Honour’) programme was originally designed to provide regular medical checkups to elderly individuals living alone, focusing especially on Holocaust survivors. Volunteers receive specialised training in geriatric care and visit programme participants in their local community at least once a week to take their vital signs, follow up on any illnesses, and check if they need medication or extra care. However, the visits soon become much more than medical check-ups. The volunteers become family to these elderly people who often have no one else around to care for them. The programme was founded in 2012 with a few volunteers, and today 650 volunteers treat close to 700 participants. “Holocaust survivors have often given a lot to the country,” explains Raphael Poch, spokesperson for United Hatzalah and a Ten Kavod regional co-ordinator. “They’ve suffered because of who they are. For us to be able to provide this service in their home

THE COUNCIL OF CHRISTIANS AND JEWS www.ccj.org.uk

@CCJUK

Leading nationwide forum for Jewish-Christian relations Educating Christian communities about the Holocaust Challenging contemporary antisemitism Empowering Student Leaders for interfaith on campus Educating Christians and Jews on how to support refugees

once a week gives them a sense of being CCJ is proud to partner with Yad Vashem to facilitate an annual 10 day seminar at looked after – that someone’s interested in the International School of Holocaust Studies to educate Christian clergy about the their story.” Holocaust. Yaron Timor, a volunteer, gets a lot of of the work. “I volunteer with a lady called Christina each week, and it is a connection An alumni network of over 250 clergy are now passing on their learning and that has lasted many years. marking Holocaust Memorial Day locally in their communities across the UK. “When a person volunteers for a programme like this, they think that they, the To mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the Christian volunteer is the one giving. But in reality, the Presidents of CCJ—which include the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Cardinal volunteer is the one who receives so much. Archbishop of Westminster—have written a special prayer for Christians which has There are so many other people out there been distributed in churches across the country. like Christina who need help.” Christina Treivitz, a survivor who reguChristians are being asked to pray in memory of the victims of the Holocaust and in larly speaks to groups to educate about the Holocaust, says: “A man asked me if I wanted recommitment to ‘stand together’ against oppression. to have someone come and visit me once a week to help me and check up on my medical HELC artwork fpr JN KATE W.indd 1 condition. I said yes. “I’m 96 years old. I wasn’t rescued from the Holocaust, I survived it. I was experimented on and it was a horrible and disgusting time. Yaron brings me so much joy. He listens to me. Very few people know how to listen.”

• If you would like to donate to any of these projects, please contact editorial@thejngroup.com


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Football stands united

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ajor Premier League football stars have challenged bystanders who let hatred and insults go unchecked, in a steering two-minute video marking Holocaust Memorial Day, writes Justin Cohen. Among those taking part are England men’s and Women’s captains Harry Kane and Steph Houghton, Virgil van Dijk, Willian, Jesse Lingard, Callum Hudson Adoi, James Maddison, as well as managers Frank Lampard and Jurgen Klopp, and BBC Match of the Day host Gary Lineker. The video is to be played at football stadia nationwide around Holocaust Memorial Day. ‘Stand Up’, a collaboration between the National Holocaust Centre and Jewish News, features the highprofile footballing figures speaking, while the video is inter-cut with images of the Holocaust and examples of hatred or ‘othering’ in everyday life today. There has been an increase in racist incidents in football stadia in recent months and organisers of the project say the video addresses “the silence of good people who stand by and do nothing,” which they called “the great enabler”. Other Premier League players involved include Fran Kirby, Fikayo Tomori, Eric Dier, Harry Winks, Jesse Lingard, Leah Williamson, Lukas Fabianski, Mark Noble, Roy Hodgson, Gary Cahill, Christian Benteke, Lewis Dunk, Glenn Murray, Will Hughes,

Watch the video at je wishne ws. co.uk

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp as seen in the video

Nathaniel Chalobah and Phil Jagielka. Interim NHCM chief executive Marc Cave said the video, sponsored by the Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG), should act as “a jab in the chest of every decent football fan… Britain’s soul has turned a little ugly in recent years and football is a window to that soul.” He added: “Evil happens when good people look the other way when we see a banana skin thrown at a black footballer, or a lesbian couple beaten up on a bus, or an Orthodox Jew punched on the streets of London.” The project follows the museum’s award-winning hip-hop video Edek, in which a rapper tells the story of an 86-year old Holocaust survivor who was saved as a little girl from the Nazis by a resistance fighter, and aims to inspire “upstanders”. Jewish News’ Justin Cohen, who conceived the project, said: “This is the first time so many leading clubs have come together to back such an initiative for Holocaust Memorial Day.” GPG trustee Mikhail Fridman said: “As a grandson of Holocaust survivors, this initiative holds great personal significance. Watching footballers who serve as role models far beyond British shores, taking such a resolute stand isn’t just inspiring. It gives us hope that racism and prejudice one day will become part of the past.”

The video features players and coaches including Virgil van Dijk, Harry Kane, Steph Houghton and Gary Lineker speaking, intercut with images of the Holocaust and examples of ‘othering’

...AND THE ROYAL MAIL LEAVES ITS MARK A SPECIAL ‘STAND TOGETHER’ Royal Mail postmark for Holocaust Memorial Day is being used by the UK postal system from today. The announcement was warmly welcomed by Holocaust educators, given that the Royal Mail handles more than 30 million letters every week. “We are proud to support the excellent work of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust with this special postmark,” a Royal Mail spokesperson said. “As the UK’s universal service provider, Royal Mail delivers letters and parcels to up to 30 million addresses across the UK, six-days-a-week. “We publish a range of postmarks each year to commemorate and promote charitable causes, national events and cul-

The postmark for Holocaust Memorial Day appears next to the postage stamp

tural interests including national holidays and anniversaries.” The postmark will be added to letters from Monday, 20 January until Sunday, 27 January and the wording will be: “STAND

TOGETHER – Holocaust Memorial Day, 27 January 2020… Visit hmd.org.uk.” Olivia Marks-Woldman, of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, said: “We are delighted that Royal Mail will be

marking HMD with this special postmark seen by millions of people across the country as they receive their post in January.” “This is particularly special as we prepare to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.” “Along with more than 10,000 activities that we are supporting, this postmark is an opportunity for people to learn more about the Holocaust and more recent genocides by following the postmark’s link.” Royal Mail cautioned that “multiple variables in the postmark process mean that [the HMD postmark] cannot be guaranteed”, adding that it was finalising the text for a postmark in April commemorating the liberation of Bergen-Belsen by British soldiers.


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JEWISH CULTURE FESTIVAL KRAKOW

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UK Branch of Meir Panim

30TH ANNIVERSARY JEWISH MUSIC AND CULTURE FESTIVAL 26 JUNE 2020 – 4 DAY TRIP FULLY ESCORTED PROGRAMME INCLUDES FULL DAY AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU VISIT PLUS CONCERT TICKETS AND KOSHER SHABBAT MEALS BOUTIQUE HOTEL PACKAGE JOIN US FOR THE BEST JEWISH MUSIC FESTIVAL IN THE WORLD CALL MARCEL 07712 290520 FOR OTHER JEWISH INTEREST TOURS Head Office: 4-6 Canfield Place, London NW6 3BT  020 7644 1500  E: admin@westendtravel.co.uk Edgware Office: 70 Edgware Way, Edgware, HA8 8JS  020 8958 3188  E: info@westendtravel.co.uk

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NO SURVIVOR SHOULD GO HUNGRY PLEASE HELP US TAKE JUDITH

AND MANY OTHER HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS LIKE HER OUT OF POVERTY

Your donation will help us to provide them with ready-made meals, meals on wheels, hot meals (at our Food Centres), Food Shopping Cards, Food Packages, and enriching programme in Dimona for 30 Survivors.

Manna, UK Branch of Meir Panim Winston House 303, 2 Dollis Park London N3 1HF gaby@mannauk.org | www.mannauk.org 128x165mmMANA.indd 1

15/01/2020 08:38

Order Yellow Candles for your Organisation or Community Yom Hashoah commences on the evening of Monday 20th April 2020. 100,000 candles will be distributed within the community and beyond. Suggested contribution of £1 per candle

To order your Yellow Candles please visit maccabigb.org/yellowcandle Last date for orders is Friday 28th February 2020

Supported by The Charles Wolfson

Charitable Trust & other private donations

Operating under the auspices of Maccabi GB. Charity No. 1098206

Tag @yellowcandleuk Use #yellowcandle


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NEW VISIONS OF HELL A two-part series with never before seen colourised images from Auschwitz aims to remove the barrier separating contemporary audiences from the scale of the horror

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he brutal reality of the Holocaust has been brought into sharp focus with a hard-hitting documentary featuring previously unseen footage of Auschwitz in colour. Produced by James Corden’s company, Fulwell73, the groundbreaking two-part series, Auschwitz Untold: In Colour, is available to watch tonight (Monday) on More4, and coincides with today’s 75th anniversary of the liberation of the former Nazi death camp. The documentary also features the moving testimony of 16 survivors, now in their 80s and 90s, including a member of the Jewish underground who participated in armed resistance against the Nazis as her entire

life the untold stories of the Holocaust in a new way.” BAFTA winner David Shulman, who produced and directed the film, said: “My ambition in making Auschwitz Untold was to have as much contemporary resonance as possible. “The colourisation of black and white archive is one aspect of making this history more accessible to a younger audience and giving greater humanity to the people seen in the footage. “Also, by including a Jewish resistance fighter from Vilna and a Roma Holocaust

survivor from France, Auschwitz Untold: In Colour adds unique perspectives typically overlooked by most documentaries about the Holocaust.” Fulwell73 was set up in 2005 by lifelong friends Ben Winston, Leo Pearlman and brothers Ben and Gabe Turner, and has been behind a string of acclaimed documentaries, including I Am Bolt, Hitsville: The Making of Motown, Sunderland ‘Till I Die and Class of ’92. • Auschwitz Untold: In Colour airs today, Monday, 27 January, at 9pm on More4 and is available on catch-up

family was being murdered in a death camp, and the seldom-heard voice of a Romani Holocaust survivor. Development producer Sheldon Lazarus said: “The 16 survivors who feature in this series tell their extraordinary accounts of survival and resistance against all odds in their own voices, and accompanied by remarkable colourised footage from the archives, we hope this series will help remove a barrier that separates contemporary audiences from the reality of the Holocaust so that we never ever forget the atrocities of the past. “With the 75th anniversary to commemorate the liberation of Auschwitz in 2020, we felt it was really timely and important to bring to

Top and above: Restored colourised archive footage shows a group of Jewish women selected for slave labour. In the background are piles of discarded belongings of those sent straight to their deaths


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Newly-arrived prisoners are forced by SS officers into two queues, one of which led to the gas chambers

Above: Jewish men wearing yellow Star of David badges arrive at Auschwitz Left: Yisrael and Zelig, the brothers of Lily Jacob, who was deported with her family to Auschwitz in late May 1944 from Bilke


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The Twickenham Kinder Schoolchildren turned detective to reveal how a group of Jewish boys stayed at a ‘Kinderhostel’ in south-west London following their escape from the Nazis, writes Stephen Oryszczuk It began when three Year 9 pupils from Hampton School in Middlesex – Oscar, Felix and Josh, none of whom is Jewish – were working on an extra-curricular history project several weeks ago, doing research for foundation stones for the proposed Holocaust Memorial in Westminster. They came across a map of their home area which included a reference to a “Kinderhostel” in Lebanon Park in nearby Twickenham. “We hadn’t heard of ‘Kinderhostel’ from

The hostel was in Lebanon Park, Twickenham

research and couldn’t find any reference to it in school or library books,” recalls history teacher Andy Lawrence. “Not even the university historians had heard of the house or knew anyone who lived there. It was a mystery.” The boys’ first breakthrough came when they found a database that mentioned a Kinderhostel at 52 Lebanon Park. Against the address there was an entry with some incomplete details about a boy who lived there. While there was no name, there was a date of birth: 7 February 1929. The entry said the boy came to Britain from Germany in April 1939, suggesting that he arrived on the Kindertransport. It was enough information for the boys to write to the Wiener Library in London, home of the world’s biggest Kindertransport archive. “A few days later they got a reply,” said Lawrence. “It said the details matched those of a boy called Gunter Ruf, born in the town of Herne in Germany, who may later have emigrated to the United States.” Why did Gunter flee Herne, and where did

he go after Twickenham? To find out the boys contacted local historians in Germany, where Gunter was born, as well as US Holocaust museums and the Kindertransport Association in New York. They heard nothing for more than a fortnight. Then they received an email. “My name is George Ruf (Gunter in Germany) and I was born in Herne, Germany on 7 February 1929, so I think I am the ‘boy’ you are looking for! While I was in the hostel in Lebanon Park, I went to school first at St Mary’s Primary School in Twickenham and from there to Orleans School from 1939 to 1943.” Jaws dropped. St Mary’s Primary School is where all three of the boys went. George, by now a grandfather, said he would tell the boys whatever they wanted to know about his life, and the questions flooded in. Gradually the three built up a picture of Gunter, who had changed his name because “it sounded too German”. Growing up in Herne, he was desperate to swim in the local swimming pool but wasn’t allowed to do so, because he was Jewish. He was nine when Nazi thugs smashed all the windows of his parents’ shop on Kristallnacht, night of the broken glass, in November 1938. The next day, his family went to live with Mr Ganz, president of Herne’s Jewish community, but five days later his father was taken to a concentration camp. On 19 April 1939, his mother and siblings took him to Dortmund railway station and put him on a train to Holland. He was allowed to take a suitcase with just a few clothes. It was the last time he ever saw his mother. He was one of ten boys at the hostel, and enjoyed life there, “always expecting his family to join him there soon”. He stayed in a room with two other boys. It was there that he had his first encounter with porridge, and tea with milk. He left St Mary’s for Orleans Park when he was 14, and aged 18 he rode a motorbike across Europe, returning briefly to Herne where he met old neighbours. He then joined the

Gunter (now George) Ruf as a boy and as he is now in the US. The schoolboys tracked him down

British Army and served in Hong Kong and Singapore before moving to Ecuador to manage a factory. Finally, he settled in the US. The Hampton School students were thrilled, but knew that George had not been at Lebanon Park alone, and wanted to trace others. They asked the Association of Jewish Refugees to put an appeal for information in their newsletter, which it did. Soon the pupils were contacted by Helen Levy. Her stepmother, Margot Brauer, had worked at Lebanon Park, looking after the boys who lived there. Margot had herself escaped from Nazi Germany in 1938, aged 18. Helen remembered that Margot stayed in touch with some of the Jewish boys she had looked after, including Freddy Popper, whose son Michael had become a dancer, choreographer and artist. The boys contacted Michael’s agent. Soon Michael was telling them about his father. Born in Vienna in June 1928, Freddy was born into a middle-class family that had a rich musical heritage. Freddy Popper lived at the hostel 1939-44

He and his mother escaped in 1939 and made their way to London where Freddy lived at the hostel in Lebanon Park. When Freddy left the house in December 1944 he found work as a tailor, before becoming a pattern cutter. After travelling around the country for work, he settled back in the borough of Richmond, living in St Margaret’s from the early 1990s until he died. “We think it is important to know about the story of the boys of Lebanon Park because it has never been told before,” said Josh. “More than that, it is important because it shows that – far from being something that happened a long time ago and far away – the Holocaust came closer to us all than we think.”

• Can you help Oscar, Josh and

Felix to find out about the other boys who spent time at the Kinderhostel at Lebanon Park after fleeing the Nazis? Please contact Mr Lawrence at Hampton School if you remember Fred Pauker, Emil Haber, Gerald & Harold Ohrbach, Ralph Metzger, Frank Reichmann and/or Kurt Kristeller

Prisoners in Northern Ireland have created a Holocaust Memorial Day exhibition space for schoolchildren based in 1940s Nissen huts. Inmates at Magilligan Prison, in County Londonderry, developed Empty Spaces after participating in a Holocaust Memorial Day Trust workshop, which Deputy Governor Gary Milling helped them develop. Prisoners cleared out the huts, then created stunning artwork depicting scenes from the camps. They also chose suitable digital resources to tell the life stories of victims. Visitors said the most poignant moment was spending time in a hut in which prisoners had painted more than 600 names of victims. A dozen school groups have now visited, as has Northern Ireland’s Justice Minister David Ford, who said: “I’m very impressed by the work of the prisoners, and the fact that schools will learn about the importance of honouring survivors of past atrocities.” Milling said: “The buildings at Magilligan which we are using for

the display are similar to the type which would have been in use during the war, and these empty spaces will be filled with the voices, stories and pictures of victims, survivors. “Part of the project has also been prisoner involvement in the creation of the materials and spaces. “It is their way of not standing by – contributing to the promotion of Holocaust Memorial Day and the development of young people in our community.” Shirley Lennon, an HMDT regional support worker, said: “This

Photo by hmd.org.uk

Stunning artwork by prisoners in Londonderry

Some of the prisoners’ artwork in the Nissen huts

is an exciting, unique project and we are delighted to support Magilligan Prison. It is a very effective way of encouraging schools and local communities to raise awareness.”


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Muslim community takes Shoah studies to heart

Educators tell Stephen Oryszczuk why it’s crucial to share lessons from the past Holocaust educators operate up and down the country, talking to people of all ages, genders, ethnicities, nationalities, religions and races. On the face of it, there should be no difference whatsoever – people are people. Yet poll after poll, year after year, has shown that attitudes in the Muslim community can be less tolerant on the Holocaust than the national average, and that antisemitic attitudes can be more prevalent. Given that, and given the running sore that is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Jewish News asked three Muslim Holocaust educators whether they experience any particular or unique challenges. Harjyot Hayer, a Year 6 history teacher at Peel Park Primary School in Bradford, covers the Second World War with her young charges – how it started, whether Britain should have gone to war earlier, life on the home front… and the Holocaust. “Things like Anne Frank’s diary are a really useful way for children to understand about persecution and tolerance, or lack of,” she says. “We’ve looked at primary sources, of Jewish people in Vienna having to clean the streets, and the progression of persecution – how it starts, how it escalates. They’re only 10 to 11 years old, so we don’t talk much about the camps.” Two years ago, Hayer brought in Shannen Johnson, a learning and engagement officer at the Peace Museum in Bradford, to deliver a workshop called ‘Everyone Comes From Somewhere’, profiling the real-life story of a young Jewish boy who fled Germany and sought sanctuary in Bradford. “It ties in really well,” says Hayer. “It links with contemporary themes such as refugees, asylum, how we receive people in our area. Shannen brings in a replica suitcase and gets the children to think about what they’d take.” She continues: “We talk about Jewish persecution. A lot of these children are from religious backgrounds and go to mosque after school, so they identify with the concept of respecting religion, because they would expect respect for their own.” Discussing Anne Frank or the Jewish boy who fled to Bradford, Hayer says: “In a lovely way, the children are still very naïve. They find it really shocking that a child would have to hide.” They’ve looked at civil rights in the context of black history, she says, so the children are learning about racism, but think it is something historic. “Because they’re not racist themselves and don’t see it, they think it [racism, antisemitism, persecution] is a relic of the past, which is a lovely bubble to be in for the time being.” From her perspective, she says there are no specific cultural sensitivities when teaching the Holocaust to her Muslim pupils “because it’s just about respect and tolerance”, but Junaid Iqbal,

a 21-year-old Muslim ambassador for the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET), says there are certain differences once children get older. A law student at Lancaster University, Iqbal grew up in a Muslim family in Burnley with parents from Pakistan. At school, he attended HET’s Lessons from Auschwitz programme, which included a one-day trip to the camp. “I gave an assembly in my school about what we learned, and I organised projects in my Muslim community,” he says, explaining that he has since been on a study visit to Yad Vashem and to Budapest to learn the untold story of Hungarian Jews. “For many of my friends and family what I told them was all very new. Many had never learned about the Holocaust, because it’s not part of the curriculum in Pakistan. They only knew bits and bobs, mostly from the media. “For instance, my parents only knew that a large number of Jews were murdered, nothing else. They didn’t know how it came about, what led to it, Nazi policies, the acquiescence of the local population, how ancient narratives of Jews, which are mostly stereotypical and negative, played a big part, none of that.” Iqbal doesn’t blame his parents for not knowing – they were never taught – but says he has come across the same kind of negative stereotypes of Jews in the Muslim community today, such as ‘Jew’ being used as a slur. He heard it on the National Citizen Service scheme, he says. “I was a senior mentor, and some of the young people would use this term. I challenged them, asked them why they would call someone a ‘Jew’ when it was not a negative word. They quickly learned. You have to. Serious racism begins with small acts like this.” When he came to educate young Muslims, he says they “knew a lot more about it than the older generation in the Muslim community, and it was entirely positive – they listened and were sensitive to what we were saying”. But he is not naïve and knows that contemporary Middle East politics can segue its way into a conversation that should be entirely free of it. “The main cultural sensitivity is that many Muslims confuse anti-Israeli sentiment with anti-Jewish sentiment,” he says with a sigh. “When it comes to the Middle East, we treat the Muslim community around the world as a family, as a brotherhood, so what happens there we feel very affected by, and many people in their anger can be misdirected, not towards the actions of the Israeli state, but towards Jews in general, linking both to be the same thing. “Because of this, they can feel awkward or hesitant to engage with the Holocaust. They see it as a link to Jewishness and Jewishness as a link to Israeli action, so they can approach it with more scepticism, because they feel it is intrinsi-

Left: Uzma Zahid is a trustee of the Anne Frank Trust; Above and right: Junaid Iqbal on visits to Budapest and Israel

cally linked to Israel itself, and many of them are not happy with Israel’s actions. “That’s why I’ve personally found, when speaking to Muslim students, I need to stress that what Israel is doing now is completely different to the Holocaust, which must be respected as something entirely separate.” Owing to this and other factors, does he feel the starting point is different when teaching about the Holocaust to Muslim students, that there is more work to do? “It’s sometimes easier to teach the Holocaust to non-Muslims. They have a more neutral starting point, as they’re not so invested in Middle East conflict. “I would add that I’ve seen these negative and sceptical attitudes much more in young secondary school students who haven’t yet learned about the Holocaust, and in the older generation who were never taught it. At university, all of my Muslim friends are sensitive to it. So it’s not all Muslims at all.” Uzma Zahid, 26, who also has Pakistani heritage, was a Muslim ambassador for the Anne Frank Trust (AFT) in 2008 while at college in Bradford. She is now a PhD student in London and a trustee of the charity – the only Muslim board member. Aged 15, studying religion at Laisterdyke Business and Enterprise School in Bradford, she first learned about Anne Frank. “They linked that to instances of discrimination that were in the media at the time,” she recalls. “Afterwards, we held an exhibition at the Cartwright Hall Art Gallery in Bradford that was open to the community. Our family and friends came and we were the guides.” Like Iqbal, she also encountered antisemitism in the Muslim community in Bradford and, as in Burnley, it related to age-old stereotypes. “Growing up, people would say ‘don’t be a Jew’

about money. At the time I didn’t know what it meant. It’s horrible.” Does she think Holocaust educaJunaid Iqbal is a Muslim tors have to ambassador for HET work slightly harder in Muslim communities? “From my own experience, yes, there’s an element of truth to that, although I don’t know why that is. I suppose you need to start at a more basic level.” Does Israel’s role in the Middle East conflict make Holocaust education in the Muslim community more difficult? She takes her time and is careful what she says. “I have found a lack of knowledge [on the Holocaust in the Muslim community] especially with the older generation. Is it due to frustration over IsraelPalestine? Maybe there’s an element of that, but I think it’s more about people focusing on their own hurt, their own experiences of colonialism and racism. “Because of the politics of the Israel-Palestine conflict, there is an opportunity for certain people to incite hatred. That’s why it’s more important to invest in Holocaust education in Muslim communities than in others, to get in there early and make things relatable, to show that while they may have suffered, other people have suffered more.”


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On the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz, The Royal Air Force Museum Remembers the Millions of Holocaust Victims and Pays Tribute to the Survivors Maggie Appleton MBE, CEO at the RAF Museum, said: ‘The Battle of Britain was the RAF’s defining moment, when they stood firm against Hitler and fascism. With many Jewish RAF personnel playing crucial roles, the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain in 2020 provides the perfect opportunity to remember these incredible people.’

The RAF Museum has developed a new project Jewish ‘Hidden Heroes’ to raise awareness about the previously untold story of Jewish personnel in the RAF during the Second World War and the vital role they played. These heroes joined the Royal Air Force from all over the world, to fight against tyranny, racism and anti-Semitism, fully aware that they risked torture and execution if captured.

‘By highlighting their stories, we want to play our part in calling out the rise in anti-Semitism – and wider racism – in our society.’ Bruce Buck, Chelsea FC Chairman, said: ‘Chelsea FC is committed to tackling anti-Semitism through education and the Jewish ‘Hidden Heroes’ tells important stories about the bravery of Jewish RAF personnel during the conflict.’

The Jewish ‘Hidden Heroes’ project, launched in commemoration of ‘Battle of Britain’ 80th anniversary 2020, is supported by Roman Abramovich in partnership with the Chelsea Football Club Foundation’s ‘Say-no to anti-Semitism’ campaign and seeks to tell the stories of Jewish veterans to preserve their memory, and act as a challenge to anti-Semitism, racism and discrimination. The RAF played a crucial part in the defeat of the Luftwaffe in the famous ‘Battle of Britain’, preventing the Nazis from invading Britain, the last democratic stronghold in Europe. The RAF Museum is committed to sharing the story of the important role the Jewish personnel played across the RAF in winning the Second World War and defeating Hitler. Their fascinating stories are a powerful window to the past through which we can make links to today and inspire future generations. The RAF Museum and Chelsea FC Foundation are now inviting people from all over the world to submit their own stories – as well as those of families and friends, of Jewish personnel in the Second World War – so they can be preserved and shared online and at the Museum’s public sites. To share a story, please download the RAF Stories app or contact their team at

rafstories@rafmuseum.org or on 01902 376 237.

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Their

in our hands

Association Of Jewish Refugees

Holocaust Memorial Day Trust

Alongside continuing to deliver social and welfare services, the dwindling number of our first-generation members highlights the need to develop services and represent the interests of the second generation (2G), who now make up more than one-third of our membership. We are setting up a 2G special interest group and will continue to support commemoration and learning. We will also work with likeminded institutions and communities to disseminate our resources, Refugee Voices archive and My Story books, and continue to memorialise the contributions Jewish refugees made to Britain through our plaque scheme. www.ajr.org.uk

While survivors become fewer in number, more people than ever are taking part in Holocaust Memorial Day activities in diverse settings across the country. Our resources are rooted in historical facts and illustrated with the wealth of survivor testimony which has been collected over many years. With this model, we are confident that even when survivors are no longer with us, their experiences will live on through films, written life stories and other resources. These will continue to be used at thousands of local events, as well as the main UK Ceremony held each year. We believe that collectively we all have a role to play in honouring the experiences of survivors, and Holocaust Memorial Day is just one opportunity for people across the UK to do that. www.hmd.org.uk

World Jewish Relief “Our treasure trove of personal records immortalise the experience of Jewish refugees from Nazi Europe as they arrived in the UK. It charts their journeys, struggles and triumphs - the more you read, the more their stories come to life. Family members can access these records for free and are using them to ensure they never forget what their relatives endured or how the British Jewish community rallied to help. Refugees on domestic visas, children on the Kindertransport and child survivors - these documents are vital for remembering their experiences and how we helped them establish new lives in Britain.” www.worldjewishrelief.org

Genesis Philanthropy Group Our generation has been privileged to receive testimony directly from Holocaust survivors. To pass on that inheritance, Genesis Philanthropy Group supports technologies that will enable future generations to have first-hand experiences interacting with the testimonies which survivors will leave to posterity. Among educational activities around the globe, GPG has assisted the National Holocaust Centre to complete its Forever Project and Shoah Foundation to advance Dimensions in Testimony Project. By taking advantage of holographic and natural speech recognition technology, future generations can interact with 3D projections of survivors. www.gpg.org

The Anne Frank Trust UK We are gradually losing the last survivors, whose input is fundamental to much Holocaust education. Here at the Trust, we have a unique licence to use Anne Frank’s work for education in the UK. Anne’s superbly written diary is perhaps the most intimate and widely loved of Holocaust narratives. We use it to engage young people across Britain in understanding and challenging not just antisemitism but all prejudice. A book may never replace a living story-teller, but Anne’s diary can ensure that the first-hand experience always remains vivid and educationally powerful. www.annefrank.org.uk

Holocaust Educational Trust We are committed to preserving the truth of the Holocaust for future generations. We will continue to train the teachers to make sure that this most challenging period in our history is taught sensitively; to provide the life-changing experience of visiting Holocaust sites; and to enable Holocaust survivors to share their testimonies to ensure that these stories are heard, as long as the survivors are with us and beyond. Knowing that eyewitnesses will not be here for ever, we are redoubling our efforts to innovate, using cutting-edge technology to ensure that the Holocaust is never forgotten and that as many people as possible, now and in the future, will hear these stories and bear witness themselves; so that we preserve the legacy of our precious eyewitnesses; give a voice to the voiceless; and challenge those who seek to deny it even happened.” www.het.org.uk

The National Holocaust Centre and Museum When it comes to inventive technology, we’re perhaps leaders in the field. (Literally. Our museum is in a field in rural Nottinghamshire). We created the Forever Project to future-proof the most effective technique there is in Holocaust education: not just hearing, but talking with, a survivor. A two-way interaction at least doubles information retention versus a one-way video, textbook or talk. And we are now democratising access with online versions that make a q&a with a Holocaust survivor accessible to millions, from anywhere in the world, simultaneously and for generations to come. www.holocaust.org.uk

’45 Aid Society Each organisation makes its own contribution to our collective effort to remember the victims, teach the history and understand the lessons of the Holocaust. As the children and grandchildren of ‘The Boys’ – the 732 orphaned child survivors who came to the UK in 1945 – we know that personal stories connect with people in a powerful way. We will, therefore, be building on the 80 talks we’ve given in schools over the last two years and continue to share stories of what happened to parents and grandparents. We will also continue to celebrate the lives The Boys rebuilt at our annual reunion dinner. www.45aid.org

Yom HaShoah UK Yom HaShoah is the Jewish community’s day for internal reflection. As 2020 marks the 75th anniversary Yom HaShoah UK is embarking on a major new legacy campaign and will also see the the return of a large-scale stadium national commemoration at Allianz Park on erev Yom HaShoah itself, the evening of Monday 20 April. For the 70th anniversary, over 130 organisations united together with over 5,000 people who pledged to remember each year on Yom HaShoah. Now, five years later, on what many now call the last of the big anniversaries, we hope 10,000 will pledge to ensure the legacy of our survivors, refugees and liberators is not forgotten. www.yomhashoah.org.uk

Yad Vashem UK Foundation Yad Vashem UK promotes the vital work of Yad Vashem, the world Holocaust remembrance centre, by educating against hate and preserving the memory of each individual who was murdered. Our Guardian of the Memory project ensures named victims have a candle lit in their memory on HMD and Yom HaShoah. We ensure teachers, journalists and politicians learn about the horrors of the past so that we can protect our future. The theme ‘Stand Together’ highlights our Righteous Among the Nations project, honouring nonJews who risked their lives to save Jews. www.yadvashem.org.uk

Westminster Memorial and Learning Centre An industry of evil exists that seeks to dilute the Holocaust’s uniqueness as an event in which a European government took the decision to annihilate a race by starvation, bullets and industrial processes. We will frame the truth with a memorial and learning centre next to Parliament. It will be a reminder of the legislature’s power to protect – or oppress – citizens. The centre will examine Britain’s reaction to the Holocaust, look at individuals who did the right thing and those who failed and apply those lessons to subsequent genocides and contemporary antisemitism. www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ uk-holocaust-memorial-foundation


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JN 75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition

‘Never cease to be moved by Justin Cohen at Yad Vashem @CohenJust

They came to Jerusalem from around the world in numbers never seen before – but presidents, prime ministers and royals spoke with one voice in pledging to remember the horrors of the Nazis and the enduring lessons for today. More than 40 world leaders and 100 survivors were part of the largest international event in Israel’s history – the fifth World Holocaust Forum at Yad Vashem – ahead of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz on Monday. “The Holocaust must never be allowed to become simply a fact of history,” said Prince Charles, who was among seven key figures given the honour of addressing the hall, on the first day of his first official visit to Israel. “We must never cease to be appalled, nor moved by the testimony of those who lived through it. Their experience must always educate, and guide, and warn us. The lessons of the Holocaust are searingly relevant to this day. Seventy-five years after the Liberation of AuschwitzBirkenau, hatred and intolerance still lurk in the human heart, still tell new lies, adopt new disguises, and still seek new victims. “All too often, language is used which turns disagreement into dehumanisation. Words are used as badges of shame to mark others as enemies, to brand those who are different as somehow deviant. All too often, virtue seems to be sought through verbal violence. All too often, real violence ensues, and acts of unspeakable cruelty are still perpetrated around the world against people for reasons of their religion, their race or their beliefs.” He also spoke of the “privilege“ of meeting survivors over the years and hailed their contribution to the UK, making particular mention of Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, founder of the English Chamber Orchestra. “On her arm she bears the number by which tyranny had sought to make her less than human.

Yet, through her music, she reminds us of the greatest beauty of which we are capable.” It was his first ever visit to Yad Vashem where his grandmother is recognised as Righteous Among the Nations – a fact he described as providing “immense pride” to his family. The magnitude of the genocide of a third of world Jewry “defies belief” and can obscure individual stories of suffering, he said. It’s a fact that makes places like the museum and events like the Forum so important. Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier were among the other speakers. President Steinmeier acknowledged during his speech that “the worst crime in the history of humanity was committed by my countrymen”. He added: “75 years later after the liberation of Auschwitz I stand before you all as president of Germany and laden with the heavy historical burden of guilt.” Steinmeier added he wished he could say Germans have learned from history. “But I cannot say that when hatred is spreading.” There was an emotional hug between the German and Israeli presidents. Thanking those gathered “from the bottom of my heart”, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin urged his guests to unite against hatred “as a wall for the sake of humanity”. Jews strive to remember what happened, he said, not because of a sense of supremacy but “because we understand that if we don’t history can be repeated”. He added: “The state of Israel is not compensation for the Holocaust. It was established because it is the homeland of the Jewish people and we after a millennia of exile. Antisemitism has not changed but we have. We will always defend ourselves in our country.” Rivlin hailed countries like the UK which have adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism and urged those who haven’t to do so.

Israel’s head of state spoke of that legacy of Jewish resistance during the Shoah and told the survivors: “You are a miracle. I saw as a child how you came to Israel, established families, planted trees.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu point to the stark difference between the depths of the Jewish people at Auschwitz and the “life” of Jerusalem where the anniversary of its liberation was being marked. “Auschwitz is more than ultimate symbol of evil – it’s ultimate symbol of Jewish powerless. Today we have voice, a land and shield.

Today our voice is heard in the White House and the Kremlin, in the United Nations, in London and countless other capitals.” Without the sacrifice of the Allies there would be no survivors, he told the gathering. Be he added: “We also remember the world largely turned its back on us, leaving us to the bitterest of fates.” He also struck a distinctly political tone as he stressed the importance of tackling Iran – a message echoed by American vice-president Mike Pence. Describing the Shoah as “the greasiest

Prince praises Israeli ‘geniuses’ helping to maintain NHS Prince Charles hailed the “Israeli geniuses maintaining the entire structure of the NHS” at a reception hosted by the Britain’s ambassador. The heir to the throne met innovators, cultural figures and business leaders from across Israeli society at the event to which guests were invited “come rain or shine”. In the end, hundreds of guests packed into every corner of the residence’s garden where a specially-erected structure kept guests dry as they clamoured to shake the Royal’s hand. After a sombre day dominated by remembrance of the Shoah, Charles showed a light touch that delighted the gathering at the end of the final day of his first official tour. “It’s been fascinating to hear about so many of the cooperative ventures that are taking place between both our countries,” he said. “From what I gather it sounds as though Israeli geniuses are main-

taining the entire structure of the NHS, along with a great deal other remarkable technology developments.” A large percentage of medicines used in the NHS originate in Israel, while the Jewish state is also at the cutting edge of medical advances. He also pointed to the defence and security cooperation between the two countries and said: “I feel a particular closeness not only because I am the same age as the state of Israel – having been born in 1948 – but also the fact my grandmother is buried on the Mount of Olives.” He drew the biggest applause of the night as he thanked guests for their warm welcome and added: “Thank you for your very kind welcome and it was particularly encouraging to hear one person say that they thought certain things about the British mandate weren’t too bad after all.”

Charles at a reception hosted by the British ambassador

Professor at Technion – Israel Institute of Technology – who specialises in nanotechnology applications in medicine. He had brought a prototype of his Sniff Phone – which analyses a persons breath to detect a range of illnesses.

Professor Haick told Charles, as the engineer and scientist held the device, slightly larger than a mobile phone: “Every disease has a unique finger print of chemicals. “It analyses breath and detect some 17 different types of disease from cancers to neuro-degenera-

tive diseases.” Another innovative piece of technology shown to the heir to the throne was a machine that produces water from moisture in the air. Michael Rutman from Watergen, the company behind the water cooler sized device, offered Charles a glass of water from the machine which comes in an industrial version that can be taken to remote areas. Rutman said: “He liked it, he said it tasted good. This machine can save lives as it can run off solar panels and provide water in communities which don’t have a fresh supply.” Ambassador Neil Wigan, who welcomed Charles to the reception, spoke of the honour of welcoming HRH so soon after the visit of Prince William. He also reiterated the government’s commitment to Holocaust education including building a new Memorial and learning centre next to Parliament.


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by survivors’

PRINCE HEARS FIRST-HAND HORROR A Holocaust survivor told the Prince of Wales of the “hell on earth” she endured while being experimented on by notorious Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, writes Justin Cohen. At the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, Charles met Marta Wise, who as a 10-year-old girl was sent to Auschwitz, and George Shefi, who came to England just before the war on the Kindertransport. Wise, now 85, spent 25 minutes with the prince – far longer than most one-to-one encounters on a royal visit. She said: “He was very interested in how it was in Auschwitz and how we managed to survive. “He was very sympathetic. He came across as genuinely interested, not just doing it for the sake of it.” Born in Bratislava, then Czechoslovakia, Wise and her older sister were sent by their parents to live with a non-Jewish family and pretend they

were orphaned refugees. But in October 1944 they were betrayed to the Nazis, who offered large rewards to anyone who reported Jews. She said: “Twenty-seven fully armed soldiers came to pick up two little girls. We were put into detention, and from there we were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau and into Mengele’s experimental barracks. “By a miracle we survived. It was hell on earth. Mengele was a particular devil. Our blood was taken. Jewish blood was no good, but it was good enough to take for the German army. “He used to inject us with things. We had no idea what they were. You could be in absolute agony. He was a monster. There is no other way to describe him.” After the war she moved to Australia where she became a historian of the Holocaust. She married Harold Wise and had three children before moving to Israel in 1998.

Rivlin to Charles: ‘We still expect your mum!’

evil ever perpetrated by man against man”, he called for the world Main: Charles at Yad Vashem. Insets: With Rivlin and Marta Wise to follow the example of those who risked everything to save Jews at their World Holocaust Forum and head of the European Jewish Congress, warned that there could worst moment. An international philharmonic orchestra led be no Jews left in Europe in three decades if curby the Russian conductor Vladimir Spivakov per- rent trends continue. A three-pronged approach of education, legformed requiems and songs of remembrance in front of video footage of victims of the Nazi death islation and enforcement was needed to tackle antisemitism, he said, describing Britain as a camps and testimonies of survivors. UK-based Moshe Kantor, president of the “model” on this issue.

Israel’s President welcomed Prince Charles to Israel at the start of his first official tour to the country – telling him: “We still expect your mother to come!”, writes Justin Cohen. The heir to the throne held talks with Reuven Rivlin at Beit HaNassi, between meeting the King of Spain and Russian President Vladmir Putin. More than 40 world leaders were in Jerusalem for the World Holocaust Forum at Yad Vashem, marking 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz. It was the largest international event in the history of the State of Israel. Rivlin told the prince that Israel “deeply appreciated” his attendance at the gathering, which he said was aimed at fighting racism and fascism today as well as recalling the past. “It starts with the Jewish people but we never know where it ends. Everyone needs to be very careful,” he said ahead of talks. ”With this gathering we show that when we are united we can fight this phenomenon.” Prince Charles has twice visited Israel unof-

ficially for the funerals of Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin but this is the highest-level official Royal visit. Prince William visited officially two years ago when he also met Rivlin, who asked him to convey a message of peace to Rivlin. “For me, this is a very significant experience,” Prince Charles said to the president. “Many of my teachers at school were Holocaust survivors and we are all deeply committed to combating antisemitism.” “We will always remember how your grandmother, Princess Alice, who is buried here on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, saved the lives of many Jews during the Holocaust,” continued the president. “Britain stood firm against the Nazi threat. Many British servicemen and women fought with great bravery and liberated many concentration and death camps. And today British forces are on the front line in the war on terror in the Middle East, and we are together in this just war.”

£500k student Shoah fund VISIT MARKED NEW ERA A new Holocaust education project targeting university campus antisemitism is to receive £500,000 from the Government over three years, Jewish News can reveal. The project, expected to reach some 24,000 university students over three years, puts the onus on participants to pass on the lessons of the Holocaust to their classmates. Launching in Autumn this year, it will take some 150 students and university staff on educational trips to the former German Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Krakow every year. They will hear from survivors and deliver workshops on tackling antisemitism to other students upon their return, with student publications and groups expected to take part in the programme. Announcing the funding, communities secretary Robert Jenrick said: “This new programme will help tackle antisemitism on campuses and see student leaders educate thousands of their fellow students about prejudice and intolerance.” Jenrick, who attended Yad Vashem’s World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem last week to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, said: “As

we reflect on one of the darkest episodes of history, we must acknowledge the present failures of today and the importance to live up to this year’s theme and stand together. “ The scheme is to be delivered by the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) with the Union of Jewish Students (UJS). It is inspired by a one-off project led by UJS and HET in the previous academic year, which reached 125 leaders and students across 30 universities afflicted by reports of higher levels of racism. During the project, delegations of students, including faith leaders and student union members, visited Auschwitz-Birkenau, followed by seminars and workshops. On their return, they helped organise dozens of campus events to combat antisemitism and mark Holocaust Memorial Day, reaching a further 4,000 students from Exeter to Edinburgh. In a separate project targeting younger students launched close to 20 years ago, entitled Lessons from Auschwitz, HET has taken over 41,000 sixthformers and teachers to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

IN BILATERAL RELATIONS BY JAMES SORENE CHIEF EXECUTIVE, BRITAIN ISRAEL COMMUNICATIONS & RESEARCH CENTRE

TO TRULY COMPREHEND the long-term transformation in Britain-Israel relations, consider one idea. Decades ago, the British Government, rightly or wrongly, viewed overt intimate relations with Israel as a problem for British interests in the Middle East. In 2020, overt, close relations with Israel are part of the solution to most of the problems Britain faces in the Middle East. When Prince Charles arrived in Israel last week for his first ever official visit, he celebrated a broad and deep bilateral partnership that encompasses trade, healthcare, tech, innovation, research, counterterrorism, defence and cybersecurity.

Britain’s historic alliance with Arab countries, once a source of tension and suspicion in its relations with Israel, now complements it. Israeli links with Sunni Arab states are evolving fast and the UK is simultaneously looking to the Gulf as a key area to increase trade and investment after it leaves the EU. It was no coincidence that Oman, one of Britain’s closest allies in the region, hosted Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2019 for the first ever visit by an Israeli leader to a Gulf State. Ultimately, the UK views Israel, much like itself, as a like-minded Western orientated democracy with strong links to Europe but a deep alliance with the United States. As Britain redesigns its network of global relationships after leaving the EU, its strategic partnership with Israel – an innovative export driven economy trading with Europe and Asia – could become increasingly important in the years ahead.


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‘How would our generatio Mathilde Frot joined more that 100 European politicians at Auschwitz this week to take part in a international conference on antisemitism

More than 100 European parliamentarians gathered in Krakow this week to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau ahead of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the German Nazi death camp. Survivors, ministers, community leaders and diplomats flew to Poland on Monday to pay their respects to victims and lay wreaths at the camp’s Death Wall where thousands of prisoners were executed. The two-day trip, organised by the European Jewish Association (EJA) and the European Action and Protection League (APL), included a conference on tackling antisemitism and a dinner gala, followed by a visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau and a memorial service. Delegates included the European Parliament’s former president Antonio Tajani, its current vice-president Mairead McGuinness, the Flemish minister-president Jan Jambon and Hungarian justice minister Judit Varga. Speaking at the memorial service were the Polish-born French author and survivor of the Warsaw ghetto Marek Halter, and the former Israeli chief rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, himself a child survivor of Buchenwald, who said kaddish to commemorate the 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust. Parliamentarians were urged to introduce tougher laws to tackle antisemitism. Draft legislation sent to delegates ahead of the trip suggested penalties against the public use of antisemitic stereotypes, increased funding to bolster Holocaust education and a ban on the sale of Nazi memorabilia for profit or out of a “macabre interest.” Rabbi Menahem Margolin, founder and chair of EJA, called on delegates to return to their respective parliaments bearing the proposals – not just “the image of hell” that is Auschwitz-Birkenau.

“You are leaders and people look up to you and follow your example, and therefore this is in your hands. Our future. Your future is in your hands. And you can make this a very important and positive change,” he told delegates. In video messages played at the dinner gala, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Benjamin Gantz, the leader of the Blue and White party, both warned against growing anti-Jewish racism. The Polish president Andrzej Duda addressed delegates in a letter about Holocaust remembrance read aloud at the gala by presidential minister Wojciech Kolarski. “The German occupiers sought to break both personal solidarity and brotherhood ties between the Poles and the Jews,” Duda wrote, before praising the “numerous Poles” who “despite threatening repression, tried to save Jews and many of them died together with the rescued.” Other speakers included Yonatatan Langer, a former neo-Nazi turned activist who later converted to Judaism, and Abdallah Chatila, a Lebanese businessman who bought auctioned Nazi memorabilia to donate to Yad Vashem, who received the King David Award at the event. Guest speaker Keren Knoll, the Israel-based granddaughter of the late Mireille, an 85-yearold Holocaust survivor murdered in her flat in Paris in 2018, delivered an emotional plea to the delegation to take a stand against antisemitism. “Antisemites live among us. Hate is still very alive,” she warned delegates. Flying in from the UK were the Tory MSP Jeremy Balfour and the Welsh Conservative Party Assembly Member and shadow Welsh language minister Suzy Davies. Balfour, who previously visited AuschwitzBirkenau with his wife, said: “Coming to Auschwitz with a community, particularly

The delegation lays a wreath at the infamous Wall of Death, where thousands were killed

Speaker Keren Knoll

with a lot of people who are Rabbi Menachem Margolin (right) with Abdallah Jewish themselves, in some ways makes it far more symthe Scottish Parliament next week marking the bolic and emotional than if you just come by 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. yourself. Speaking to Jewish News after visiting “You can’t help but think ‘how would our Auschwitz-Birkenau for the first time, Davies generation react to such an event, what hapsaid she was struck by the piles of hair cut pened’, and yet we have to be aware that it from the heads of victims, now displayed in a could happen again and have to fight what we glass case at the memorial site in an exhibineed to be fighting against.” tion containing evidence of crimes. Balfour hopes to contribute to a debate in “The strange thing was to be going there on

Recognise new Righteous, says Yad Vashem expert The former director of Yad Vashem’s Righteous Among the Nations department, Mordecai Paldiel, has asked for recognition for two wartime Polish diplomats whose efforts may have saved up to 8,000 Jews, writes Jenni Frazer. Dr Paldiel, now at Yeshiva University in New York, was taking part in a panel discussion, convened by the Polish Embassy in the UK, to discuss the role of Poland’s London-based government-in-exile in helping Jews during the Holocaust. He was joined at JW3 by Professor Antony Polonsky, an expert in Polish-Jewish relations based at Brandeis University in New York, and the director of Poland’s Pilecki Institute, Dr Wojciech Kozłowski. During the war years, a group of Polish diplomats in Switzerland, known as the Bernese group, issued fake Latin American passports to hundreds of Jews. Facsmiles of the documents provided were on display at JW3, collected by the Pilecki Institute. Dr Paldiel, who spoke in detail about the

work of the Bernese group, said that he had just written a comprehensive report about its leader, the former Polish ambassador to Switzerland Aleksander Ładoś, and his deputy Stefan Ryniewicz, who oversaw the initiative to forge the passports. He believed that the work done by the two diplomats merited consideration by Yad Vashem, which awards the title of Righteous among the Nations. The Polish ambassador to Britain, Arkady Rzegocki, opened the event. He said: “It is an honour for me to speak of the selfless acts of a government which, despite being forced into exile and operating from foreign soil, through its well-connected channels and network of emissaries, managed to bring aid and hope to those suffering and provided priceless intelligence about the Holocaust to the free world”. He also presented a special Polish embassy reprint of Raczyński’s Note, the first official document informing the West about the Holocaust. The event was chaired by Jenni Frazer.

Mordecai Paldiel with Antony Polonsky, Wojciech Kozlowski and Jewish News’ Jenni Frazer


27 January 2020 Jewish News

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75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition

on have reacted?’

ROMA & SINTI VOICES SILENT FOR TOO LONG BY TANIA GESSI

ROMA ORAL HISTORY PROJECT

ments in Europe.They’re all extremely busy. When they go in tomorrow, there’ll be 55 other things at the top of the inbox for them,” she said.

It is difficult to quantify as evidence is so fragmented, but in the Second World War between 500,000 and one-and-half-million Roma and Sinti were murdered in concentration camps, in forests or by the roadside. Many others were imprisoned, used as forced labour or subject to forced sterilisation and medical experimentation. The Roma genocide (The Forgotten Holocaust) was not included in post-war historical narratives and their social exclusion, discrimination and marginalisation has continued to this day. The very first learning centre and memorial to Holocaust victims was created in Israel, almost immediately after Israel itself was created. As so many of the immigrants to Israel were Holocaust survivors, the memorial centre in Jerusalem naturally focused on Jewish victims. What the Roma people endured wasn’t given recognition and it is still the case to this day. It is not part of the national curriculum. This lack of recognition is due to the continued discrimination that Roma people still experience across Europe, including the UK, and their disadvantaged position in society. Around 80 percent of Roma in Europe live below the poverty line, which means their priority is survival and equal access to education, employment, housing and health. In 2017 the Roma Support Group implemented the Roma Oral History Project, Roma Stories, which enabled us to collect 37 oral interviews from people of different ethnicities and backgrounds. At its heart was a desire to promote the plethora of Roma voices. This project has also crucially enabled Roma people to start a process of sharing stories with post-war born generations, who had not been told what happened by their parents or grandparents and had lived through it, in an attempt to forget the horrors of their experience and safeguard future generations. In the words of one my Roma friends, Mihai Calin Bica: “Discovering that my great-grandfather fought in the First World War and then escaped from a Nazi forced labour camp was an incredible and very emotional experience. That was possible thanks to this project. Our elderly generation is passing away. Because they don’t want us to suffer, knowing what they’ve been through, they take our past with them and with that our hidden history.” We hope that more effort will be made by society at large to include this important part of our history in our shared memory and public commemorations.

BBC backs Guerin over Yad Vashem report

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The group beneath the camp’s chilling sign and (below) walking through Birkenau

a bright sunny day and actually looking at photographs as we went around, and [seeing] the horrors also happening in bright sunny days,” Davies said.

The BBC has stood by its correspondent Orla Guerin after she was criticised for referencing the occupied Palestinian territories in a report filmed inside Yad Vashem, writes Mathilde Frot. Guerin’s interview with survivor Rena Quint in her flat in Jerusalem and at the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem was broadcast on News at Ten on Wednesday. “In Yad Vashem’s Hall of Names, images of the dead. Young soldiers troop in to share in the binding tragedy of the Jewish people,” Guerin says. “The State of Israel is now a regional power. For decades, it has occupied Palestinian territories,” she concludes. “But some here will always see their nation through the prism of persecution and survival.” The segment attracted criticism online, with suggetions that Guerin sought to draw parallels between the

Visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau, she said, can make the lessons of the Holocaust more “visceral” to parliamentarians. “We’ve got leaders from various parlia-

Journalist Orla Guerin

Israeli–Palestinian conflict and the Holocaust. But the BBC denied the accusations in a statement. “The brief reference in our Holocaust report to Israel’s position today did not imply any comparison between the two and nor would we want one to be drawn from our coverage,” a spokes-

person said. The statement followed a request for an apology by Board of Deputies vicepresident Amanda Bowman. “In an otherwise moving report on the experiences of a Holocaust survivor, Orla Guerin’s attempt to link the Israeli–Palestinian conflict to the horrors of the Holocaust was crass and offensive,” she said on Thursday. “As we approach Holocaust Memorial Day, the Jewish community is within its rights to expect an apology.” Gideon Falter, chief executive of the Campaign Against Antisemitism, plans to make an official complaint. “Few could imagine perverting what is supposed to be an educational piece about the Holocaust to instead fuel the very antisemitism that such education is supposed to prevent, but that is what the BBC has done,” he said.

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75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition

Plight of Soviet Jewry is a new focus for Yad Vashem Yad Vashem has launched a series of new videos and a mobile exhibition to highlight how a third of all Jews killed in the Holocaust were Soviet Jews. The Nazis invaded Soviet lands from the summer of 1941 and soon set about targeting Jewish populations in these newlyoccupied parts, as they had in the rest of Europe, but educators say the number of Soviet Jews killed is still little known. Now Israel’s national Holocaust memorial and museum has teamed up with the Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG) to show how 98 percent of the 2.5 million Jews who came under Nazi rule in 1941 were killed. Tens of thousands were shot in ravines such as Babi Yar, or woods on the edges of towns and villages, often over just a day or two, and sometimes with help from local collaborators. The 45-minute videos have been produced to show survivors from parts of the former Soviet Union, including Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania, and are available on Yad Vashem’s YouTube channels, which are often shown to groups and seminars. Examples of survivors’ stories include that of Odessa-born Sergei Sushon, whose family was forced to live in the city’s ghetto

Your weekly digest of stories from the international press NETHERLANDS

A new luminous Holocaust memorial by a river in Rotterdam has been unveiled. It is made up of 104,000 light-emitting stones representing 104,000 Dutch victims. Artist Daan Roosegaarde took inspiration for his work, Levenslicht, or Light of Life, from the Jewish custom of placing stones on or near graves. The stones are lit up when bathed in ultraviolet light.

UNITED STATES David Taubkin, a Holocaust survivor from the ghetto in Minsk, Belarus

after Romanian troops invaded, before being transferred to a series of forced labour camps, before hiding in a village. Alongside the videos is an educational mobile exhibition for Russian-speaking students featuring photos, testimonies and historical texts detailing the rescue of Jews living in the USSR during the Shoah. “Holocaust remembrance and education hold particular significance for the

WANNSEE HOUSE GETS REVAMP The Berlin villa where senior Nazis hatched their plan to exterminate Jews is launching a new permanent exhibition to attract a wider audience. The house in the suburb of Wannsee was where Holocaust architects such as Gestapo chief Adolf Eichmann and SS chief Reinhard Heydrich met in 1942 to plan and agree what they called “the final solution” – the industrial slaughter of Jews. The House of the Wannsee Conference opened as a memorial in 1992, and organisers hope the revamp will broaden its visitor range, increase an understanding of what went on there and make people want to stay and learn. “Until now, the average duration of

WORLD NEWS IN BRIEF

a visit has been around 30 minutes,” said museum director Hans-Christian Jasch. “We want visitors to stay for between 60 and 90 minutes.” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Hungarian Holocaust survivor Eva Fahidi will attend the unveiling ceremony at the lavish villa on the shores of Wannsee Lake, south-west of Berlin, where 15 senior Nazis met on 20 January. An agenda of the meeting was later found in German papers and used in the Nuremburg Trials. At his trial in Jerusalem in 1961, Eichmann told the court that the participants had been served “by butlers with cognac and other drinks” as they plotted the genocide.

The Berlin villa that was the venue of the Wannsee Conference, where senior Nazis, including Adolf Eichmann, plotted to exterminate Jews

Genesis Philanthropy Group,” said its president and chief executive, Ilia Salita. “Through education, access and remembrance of the history of the Holocaust in the former Soviet Union, we seek to enable Russian-speaking Jews, especially new generations, to meaningfully engage with their families’ Jewish narrative, which has been unspoken and untold for way too long.”

Black and Jewish leaders in New York came together to stack shelves at an Orthodoxrun soup kitchen in Brooklyn on Martin Luther King Day. Organisers said it was an act of solidarity following several attacks on Jews in the city, and called for goods to donate to Puerto Rico following hurricanes and earthquakes there.

HUNGARY

Justice Secretary Judit Varga has said Hungary is ‘one of the safest countries in Europe’ for Jews with ‘no need to fear antisemitism’. She made her comments after an event at Auschwitz-Birkenau on Tuesday. Her government has been accused of peddling antisemitic tropes in its portrayal of Jewish philanthropist and government critic George Soros, as well as the country’s Jewish community leader.

CHILE

An observatory in the Andes has been named after the Jewish American astrophysicist who discovered evidence of dark matter. The Vera C. Rubin Observatory will open in 2022, housing an 8.4 metre telescope. Rubin was the first woman to work at Caltech’s Palomar Observatory, arriving to find no women’s toilets.

Germany’s £3.4m for Dutch museum Germany has said it will pay £3.4 million towards renovating the Dutch national Holocaust museum in Amsterdam’s Jewish cultural quarter. The National Holocaust Museum of the Netherlands opened in 2017 across from a former religious seminary and theatre once used to smuggle hundreds of Jewish children to safety from an internment building across the street. It is closing for two years to turn the two buildings into one single museum with a larger capacity and

The Dutch Holocaust museum

state-of-the-art displays. Director Emile Schrijver told local media how the German government’s offer had surprised everyone, saying: “We expected a donation of half a million or maybe a million euros.” Nazi Germany and its Dutch collaborators killed about 75 percent of the Netherlands’ pre-war Jewish population of approximately 140,000 Jews, the highest death rate in Nazi-occupied Western Europe. Today there are only around 40,000 Dutch Jews.

Museum shows Moroccan BRAZIL FIRES ITS Jewish-Muslim relations CULTURE MINISTER Morocco’s King Mohammed VI (pictured) has visited the country’s newly-opened ‘House of Memory’, showcasing historic Jewish-Muslim relations and coexistence in the coastal city of Essaouira. The Jewish community in Essaouira was once so numerous that there were 37 synagogues, with many families having arrived after their mass expulsion from Spain by the Catholic king in 1492. The new museum is housed in one such synagogue, built with carved woodwork by

a wealthy merchant, adjoining his house, and details the life of Moroccan Jews. It includes the families and descendants such as Lord Belisha, Britain’s minister of transport, finance and war during the 1930s and 40s, whose appointment to the post of minister of information was blocked for antisemitic reasons. His name is now known for the amber ‘Belisha beacons’ at pedestrian crossings. Bayt Dakira “testifies to a period when Islam and Judaism had closeness,” said the king’s adviser.

Brazil’s Jewish community has welcomed the government’s decision to sack the culture minister after he paraphrased Nazi propaganda mastermind Joseph Goebbels in a speech announcing national arts awards. Roberto Alvim used several excerpts from a Goebbels speech in his own while playing music by Richard Wagner – Hitler’s favourite composer – in the background. Brazilian Congress President Davi Alcolumbre, who is Jewish, immediately called for Alvim to be fired. Brazil’s right-wing nationalist President Jair Bolsonaro later did so, saying Alvim’s comments were “unfortunate” and that he had removed him because the government “rejects genocidal ideology”. The Brazilian Israelite Confederation said: “Emulating Goebbels’ vision is a scary sign of his cultural vision, which must be combated and contained.”


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Jewish News 27 January 2020

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JN Editorial comment and letters ISSUE NO.

1142

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

VOICE OF THE JEWISH NEWS

Survivors’ legacy now in our hands Continued from page 3

Holocaust remembrance and learning – many of whom are not Jewish themselves – would be best placed to connect with the children of tomorrow, children who will never experience the impact of being in a room with someone who was there. Maybe we won’t need people at all. Through virtual reality headsets, holograms or modern art installations, we are able to share Holocaust testimonies in new ways. And it’s never been more important to do so. Antisemitism is on the rise worldwide, the attacks reminiscent of what happened to our families in the 1930s – desecrated headstones, swastikas painted onto Jewish buildings, stabbings and shootings…75 years on and we’re still frightened, and wondering if the lessons of the Holocaust have been learnt at all. Social consciousness is on the rise. But so, too, is trolling on social media. Some of us have personally felt the vitriol when we’ve posted or commented about the Holocaust online and have to deal with the anxiety that brings. We feel abandoned by the tech companies and social media platforms who don’t do enough to protect us. They should look to Chelsea Football Club’s admirable #SayNoToAntisemitism campaign for inspiration. As we begin a new decade we’ve come together as a group and make the following pledges: to keep the stories of the Holocaust alive; to fight hate and xenophobia, whoever its directed at; to support refugee communities fighting to rebuild their lives today; to reaching out to people with different backgrounds, outside of our online echo chambers; and to celebrate, with all of Britain, Jewish life in all its diverse forms, in its similarities and differences.

Send us your comments PO Box 815, Edgware, HA8 4SX | letters@thejngroup.com

Hungary has proud record I write concerning your recent article (Tory aide’s promise of ‘special relationship’ with Hungary’s Orban criticised). It claims that “cosying up to one of Europe’s most authoritarian regimes” “sent shivers down the spines of Jewish leaders”, accusations I would like to challenge. The Embassy of Hungary in the UK is in regular contact with representatives of British Jewry and I am engaging with the community through open events to discuss any controversies that may arise (the latest of these events were held on 13 November in the Judaism Alive series of the St John’s Wood United Synagogue). I therefore challenge your sources and contradict your statement about criticism surrounding UK-Hungarian bilateral relationships. In addition, I categorically deny the suggestion that the Hungarian government

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Printed in England: West Ferry Printers Limited Published by: The Jewish News & Media Group. www.thejngroup. com. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any form of advertising without prior permission in writing from the editor. Registered as a newspaper by Royal Mail. The Jewish News reserves the right to make any alterations necessary to conform to the style and standards of The Jewish News and does not guarantee the insertion of any particular advertisement on a specified date or at all – although every effort will be made to meet the wishes of the advertisers. Further it does not accept liability for any loss or damage caused by an error or inaccuracy Member of in the publication of an advertisement. Signatures of both parties involved are sometimes required in the case of Audit Bureau some announcements. An order for an advertisement shall amount to an acceptance of the above conditions. Hotels, products and restaurants which are not supervised are marked with an [N]. The Jewish News reserves the right to edit of Circulations letters for size and content without prior consent. Submission of letters is no guarantee of publication.

would in any way compromise democracy and act in an ‘authoritarian’ way. Support for democracy in Hungary is getting stronger, not weaker, with voter turnout in the 2018 general election at the highest since 2002, at 70.2 percent. Moreover, the article refers anew to the controversy surrounding the visit of Deputy State Secretary Vince Szalay-Bobrovniczky in 2019. Following my request last year you kindly agreed to remedy the misreporting by publishing my letter enlightening readers about Hungary’s true endeavours to support the Jewish community, to fight antisemitism and enact a meaningful remembrance policy. I am surprised to see the same accusations resurfacing. Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky Hungarian Ambassador to the UK

LONG-BAILEY SIGNING UP TOO LATE So, Labour leadership candidate Rebecca Long-Bailey will sign up to the Board of Deputies’ 10 pledges to tackle antisemitism? It’s a bit late. Where has she been for the past few years? Kowtowing to the Corbynite wing of the party. She rated Jeremy Corbyn’s performance as party leader a perfect 10

out of 10. I understand that for £25 one can join Labour and vote for Lisa Nandy to refresh the direction of the party. Of course if you are supporter of the Conservatives, you must be praying for LongBailey’s success. Barry Hyman Bushey Heath

FACEBOOK GROUP ATTACK POINTLESS

“How about we do that Jewish thing? You stamp on a glass, everyone shouts ‘Mazeltov!’ and then I go to all the other members saying, ‘Please God by you!’”

I agree with Mark Kaye’s letter, ‘This is my Jewish Britain’ (Jewish News, 3 January). I was astounded to read such disparaging comments about the Facebook group Jewish Britain in a column by Jenni Frazer. Why did she feel the

need to attack a group with thousands of members in countless countries around the world and hundreds more waiting to join each week? I don’t understand what purpose it served. JD Milaric By email

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27 January 2020 Jewish News

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Editorial comment and letters

A LACK OF INTELLIGENCE I was distressed to read in Jewish News that the Agudas Yisroel Group disinvited the Chief Rabbi from taking part in a celebration at Wembley Area. I have come to the conclusion that they wasted seven and a half years studying Daf Yomi as they didn’t learn anything, and so should not waste another seven and a half years, which on them would be a waste of time. A person can be very rich, but if he does know how to spend his money, to me he is poor. The story of Khamsa and Bar Khamsa comes to mind. Previously, one Charedi rabbi reportedly said that resisting Chief

Rabbi Mirvis was on a par with opposing the Nazis. These people are not worthy of being called rabbis, or even shown respect. They are as low as they come. In the Arabic language, there is a saying, they wouldn’t compare to the “toe-nail” of the Chief Rabbi. Rabbi Mirvis is a very learned, distinguished and respectable man who cares and loves Jews and yiddishkeit, which is more than can be said about those who write against him. I pray that Hashem give these people seichel – a bit of intelligence. S Solomon Hendon

Charedim missing the point Siyum HaShas event as per the headline in last week’s Jewish News. If being a member of the Charedi community means being homophobic, narrow-minded and judgmental then they have missed the whole point. Years of Talmud study should teach us to become a gutte neshomah (a good soul). Mike Abramov By email

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JN 75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition

The darkest of nights must never again fall BORIS JOHNSON PRIME MINISTER

H

olocaust survivors are simply remarkable individuals. Having witnessed the absolute worst of humanity, they could be forgiven for spending the past 75 years doing everything possible to forget what they experienced. But instead they have dedicated their lives to remembering. At an age when most of us would retreat to the sofa, they spend their 80s and 90s touring schools, offices, village halls and community centres so that as many people as possible can hear their testimony first-hand. It is truly incredible work, and I was delighted to see last month’s New Year Honours list recognise 12 survivors for their tireless efforts. But the years take their toll. For many, this month’s 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz will be the last major anniversary they are able to mark. In recent weeks, we have mourned the loss of Leslie Brent,

Hermann Hirschberger and Heinz Skyte – may their memories be a blessing. And the time will inevitably come when the Shoah slips beyond the realm of living memory. That is why it is so important that those of us who remain continue to remember. Why we as a nation must always mark Holocaust Memorial Day. And why I, as prime minister, am absolutely committed to building the National Holocaust Memorial and Education Centre right in the heart of Westminster. Because even though the Shoah was a crime so unprecedented it required the creation of a new word – genocide – simply to describe it, its perpetrators wished for it to be left unnoticed by the history books. As the Red Army’s 322nd rifle division closed in on Auschwitz, retreating Nazis destroyed the gas chambers and crematoria in a desperate attempt to cover up their crimes. Despite their enthusiastic participation in the slaughter, they didn’t want the world to know what they had done.

I WILL NEVER ALLOW THIS COUNTRY TO FORGET WHAT TOOK PLACE 75 YEARS AGO

They wanted us to forget. Today, a growing number of antisemites seek to continue that dismal work. They downplay the scale of the killing, draw false equivalence with the contemporary world, even outright deny that what happened, happened. We cannot let them gain a foothold. Because if we allow the likes of Buchenwald, Belsen and Babi Yar to become simply obscure names on a map, we not only betray the memory of those who died there. We will, in airbrushing the Holocaust from history, succeed where the Nazis failed and offer succour to the thugs and bigots who

are the modern-day bearers of that twisted ideology. So we must remember. But we must also act. After all, speak to anyone who survived the Holocaust and they will tell you that it did not begin with the gas chambers or the pogroms. It began when antisemitic slogans were daubed on a Jewish shop window. When a Jewish child was abused on a bus. And when ordinary, law-abiding people chose to turn away and do nothing. So as we look ahead to Holocaust Memorial Day and to the 75th anniversary of liberation, let me make this promise to Jews right across Britain. As long as I am prime minister, I will never allow this country to forget what happened 75 years ago. I will do all I can to see that we continue to learn the lessons of the past. And the government I lead will stand with you and fight alongside you so that the darkest of nights is never again allowed to fall upon the Jews of the world. We owe those incredible survivors nothing less.

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49

75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition

Battle to bring guilty to justice will not stop DR EFRAIM ZUROFF CHIEF NAZI-HUNTER SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER

T

he most remarkable aspect of the efforts to bring Nazi war criminals to justice is that they are still going on. As you read this article, the trial of Stutthof guard Bruno Dey continues in Hamburg, and I am certain this proceeding will not be the last of its kind – at least not in Germany. In September 1980, when I began full-time work as a war crimes researcher in Israel for the Office of Special Investigations [OSI] of the United States Department of Justice, the agency responsible for prosecuting Nazi war criminals living in the United States, it was obvious that this was not going to be a job for a lifetime. In fact, when my boss Alan Ryan was asked by reporters at the first World Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors held in Jerusalem in June 1981, how much longer his office would be in existence, he said “three to five years”. That was the mantra of his successor as well, but neither

prediction was even close to accurate. In fact, the OSI still exists today, almost 40 years later, under a different name and with expanded responsibilities, but people are still involved in efforts to prosecute Holocaust perpetrators. So how has this happened? I would point to four major factors that have positively influenced the willingness of certain countries to bring Nazi war criminals to justice and have helped make it still possible to do so. The first is the extension of life expectancy. Modern medicine has enabled people to live much longer, and that applies to Holocaust perpetrators as well. Thus we are still able to find and in some cases, health permitting, prosecute Nazi war criminals well into their nineties. Of course, the same applies to some Holocaust survivors who are still able to face the criminals under whom they suffered and testify regarding their crimes even at a very elderly age. The second factor was the discovery in the mid-1970s, initially in the US and later in Canada, Australia, Great Britain and New Zealand (in that chronological order), that numerous Nazi war criminals/collaborators,

WE ARE STILL ABLE TO FIND AND PROSECUTE NAZI WAR CRIMINALS INTO THEIR NINETIES

the overwhelming majority of whom were from Eastern Europe, had emigrated to the west posing as innocent refugees fleeing communism. (Among these immigrants were also Nazi rocket scientists and engineers, who were knowingly brought to the free world by the western intelligence services, who feared that they might be kidnapped by the Soviets.) The passage of laws enabling criminal prosecution of these suspects in Canada (in 1987), Australia in (1989), and Great Britain (in 1991) were landmark decisions of great moral and judicial significance. The third factor was the collapse of the Soviet Union and the transition of the commu-

nist regimes of Eastern Europe to democracy during the years 1989-1991. This enabled access for criminal investigators to the sites, archives and surviving witnesses in the countries where the overwhelming majority of Holocaust crimes were committed. For the first time, justice would not be dependent on the goodwill of communist officials, whose commitment to justice was often highly influenced by irrelevant political considerations. Finally, one must acknowledge the proliferation of information on the Holocaust during the past three decades, and the consequent greater sensitivity of many people to the crimes committed by the Third Reich against innocent civilians. The hope was that Holocaust education would be the miracle antidote to antisemitism, racism, prejudice and hatred. That has not proven to be the case, unfortunately, but bringing Holocaust perpetrators to justice continues to be of great significance in this battle, and if more Nazi war criminals had been convicted and punished, the impact of the Holocaust would undoubtedly have been far greater.

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JN 75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition

Our legacy of pain can be turned into a blessing LAURA JANNER-KLAUSNER

SENIOR RABBI, REFORM JUDAISM

F

or many years, I tried to prevent the Holocaust from becoming a defining factor in my Judaism. Sadly, I’ve found it unavoidable. My family comes from a once thriving Jewish community in a small village in Lithuania. My grandfather, Barnett, came to the UK from there at the age of three. After they left, on just one day, Nazis and Lithuanian collaborators rounded up 2,000 Jewish residents, including the rest of my family, threw them into their synagogue and burnt it to the ground with all of them inside. Keeping the flame of remembrance alive continued with my family. My father, Greville, co-founded the Holocaust Educational Trust with Merlyn Rees. This was key in lobbying for the War Crimes Act (1991) to bring those responsible for Nazi atrocities (and now resident in Britain) to justice;

AFTER MY FATHER’S DEATH I FELT A DUTY TO SPEAK ABOUT THE SHOAH AND CONTINUE HIS WORK AS BEST I CAN

government-sponsored visits to Auschwitz; and for reparations for survivors. In the past I would rarely teach or speak about the Shoah but, after the death of my father, I feel the obligation, the duty as his daughter, to continue the work as best as I can. I don’t think it is possible for us ever to rid ourselves of the taste of destruction that the Holocaust has caused our community. Our task is to turn this devastation into something of meaning which keeps the flame going, to find strength and joy in being Jewish in the post-Holocaust world. Psalm 100 tells us: ivdu et hashem

b’simcha, bou l’fanav bir’nana - to serve God with joy and to come into the presence of the Eternal with singing. That is my kind of Judaism – one filled with fun, warmth and learning. Much in common with the Chassidic movement of the 18th century, my Judaism has always been a Judaism of joy over fear. We cannot give those who seek our harm the victory of making us live unhappily, or partake in our Judaism quietly and furtively. This joy is the first element to keeping our flame lit. The second way we keep our flame alive is through memories that we revisit and retell which can be a blessing — they enable us to act proactively and appropriately when we believe something in our world is going wrong. We need to use this central Jewish belief to speak out at the right time with conviction. Yet memories also have the capacity to be a curse, leading us to see threats where they may not be, or as much greater than they really are. Our collective memory

has given us a sixth sense for danger, but one we must keep calibrated. By speaking correctly when the time is right, turning the phrase “never again” into action, we take the second step to continuing to care for the flame of memory we hold. Finally, we must look outwards. We alone do not have the fuel to keep the flame going - we need to share it with others. While the Holocaust is part of the history of our community, it is a history which has value far beyond ourselves. Sharing the memory with wider society allows other communities to be our allies in ensuring that our pain is never forgotten. More than that, we can share our pain with others who have experienced terrible oppression in history and find common ground to build lasting coalitions, to stand together, fighting against such oppression being carried out again. We have this flame to carry together, but looking after it need not be a burden. We can take a legacy of pain and together we can transform it into a blessing for us and for our world.

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JN 75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition

A day to honour David Berger’s heartfelt wish EPHRAIM MIRVIS THE CHIEF RABBI

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ou may never have heard of David Berger. Today I ask you to commit his name to memory. He was born nearly a hundred years ago, but his life would be relatable to many teenagers of today. He was involved with his local Zionist youth movement and travelled from his home in Przemysl, south-east Poland, to join with other like-minded young Jewish groups. He was hoping to make aliyah, to join his girlfriend Elza Gross, with whom he exchanged letters and photos by post. Yet none of that mattered to the Nazis, who shot him in 1941 because he was a Jew. I mention David because of something he wrote in his final postcard: “I would want there to be somebody who would remember that someone by the name of David Berger had once lived.” Berger’s murderer probably never knew his name: seeing him as a young man with a family, friends and dreams would have made him seem human. The Shoah was made pos-

sible because of a culture of dehumanisation. Astonishingly, after just 75 years, echoes of this culture are now heard within social and political discourse across the world, including places where freedom and equality of opportunity were once sacrosanct. Genocide is not only perpetrated by demons or monsters, but by ordinary people – fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers – who allow themselves to commit the most heinous acts of evil. It is a terrible flaw in human nature that, over time, the innate compassion for others with which we are all born can be eroded by relentless demonisation.

DISCOURSE IS OFTEN CHARACTERISED BY TRIBALISM, VIOLENT IMAGERY AND NAME-CALLING

When it became accepted that Jews were culturally (and even genetically) predisposed to greed and manipulation; when those lies were reinforced by the media and ‘experts’; when bystanders were derided in social and professional contexts for disagreeing. Eventually, the perception became reality. Jews became outcasts, lower forms of life. Tragically, the lessons of the Shoah have not been adequately learned. Just as the Nazis had portrayed the Jews as vermin, responsible for all of Germany’s problems, Hutu leaders used the media to characterise the Tutsi minority as inyenzi (cockroaches) and inzoka (snakes). The Bosnian Serb leadership portrayed the Muslim Bosniak population as sub-human ‘invaders’ of whom they needed to be free, for the greater good of the nation. A glance at the media makes clear that we have not only failed to learn from the mistakes of history – we are making them all over again. Politicians and commentators talk about them and us and call on the electorate to pick a side. It is no longer enough to disagree. Instead, our social and political discourse has become

A story of the daughter of Holocaust survivors and how memory – both real and bequeathed – can invade lives through their impact on behaviour, attitudes and dreams. To Miriam, they overpower her freedom, as she searches for an identity and life of her own, experiencing remorse and joy, romance, humour and enlightenment.

characterised by tribalism, personal insults, violent imagery and name-calling. Alarm bells should ring for us when some are emboldened to threaten and commit acts of violence against public servants, when people are attacked in places of worship, when cemeteries are desecrated and buildings defaced. Now is the time to act to stop the polarisation and extremism. We must honour David Berger’s final wish by remembering him, not just as one of six million victims, but as a young man who was denied the opportunity to make a contribution of greater value to the world. However, there is something further that we must do. The antidote to dehumanisation is to seek out the humanity in everyone, even those with whom we might have the most profound disagreements. Let our tribute to the victims of the Shoah and, indeed to all victims of genocide, be to never again fall into the trap of dehumanising others. Let each and every one of us commit to actively reaching out to those who might otherwise be considered ‘the other’ and to build bridges based on our common humanity.

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Jewish News 27 January 2020

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JN 75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition

Keep talking about it to keep it in the past RICHARD FERRER EDITOR, JEWISH NEWS

M

ost Holocaust survivors I meet don’t live as victims. Ask and they will talk openly and honestly about the loved ones they lost and the horrors they saw and suffered, while insisting you eat half their kitchen. But for them, daily life isn’t about personal suffering, it’s about teaching as many young people as possible about the pitiless depths humanity can sink. It’s about warning how even a liberal European country like Germany can go from modern democracy to murderous dictatorship in a matter of months. It’s about showing how ordinary people, yes, just like you and me, can take part in genocide their thousands and look away in their millions. That’s why today is so important to every survivor – and everyone. After six million Jews were murdered by

the Nazis during the Second World War the world said ‘never again’. Yet ever since it’s been ‘again and again’. Unspeakable horror follows unspeakable horror. German philosopher Georg Hegel knew it 100 years before Hitler when he said: “We learn from history that we do not learn from history.” Millions of innocents have been killed in Cambodia (two million dead) Rwanda (one million), Bosnia (8,000 killed in two days) and Darfur, the first genocide of the 21st century, where 500,000 have died. Today the Rohingya are being killed in Myanmar, the Nuer in South Sudan, Yazidis

in Syria and Iraq and more than one million Uighur Muslims are currently imprisoned in China. It happened then, it’s happened since and it’s happening now. We live in fragile times, in an era not unlike the 1930s, with rising nationalism across Europe, hot heads in the Kremlin and White House, politicians peddling hate and jihadists determined to start another Holy War. Here in the UK, at least, the legacy of Holocaust survivors’ seems secure. The Nazis’ crimes are part of the national curriculum, the Government, through the Holocaust Educational Trust, sends two

DAYS LIKE TODAY ARE ABOUT SHOWING HOW ORDINARY PEOPLE –YES, JUST LIKE YOU AND ME – CAN TAKE PART IN GENOCIDE IN THEIR THOUSANDS AND LOOK AWAY IN THEIR MILLIONS

students from every college in the country to Auschwitz, the Imperial War Museum’s new Second World War and Holocaust galleries, due to open next year, will be an unrivalled resource for teaching about mankind’s darkest hour and a new national memorial and learning centre is to be built next to Parliament. On this landmark anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp where one million of Hitler’s victims were murdered, we of course pay tribute to the dwindling number of survivors. But, more importantly as far as they are concerned, we pledge to continue their work when the last of them is gone. That means embracing not isolating minorities, challenging not excusing intolerance and thinking about our personal duty to stand up to prejudice the moment we see it. If we want to keep the Holocaust where it belongs – in the past – we need to keep talking about it.  This piece was originally published in the Daily Mirror

Robert Dawson’s novel ‘Leaves in a Holocaust Wind’ about the often forgotten Holocaust of the Romani people (the Porrajmos), reflects the fact that latest research shows the number killed as about 1.5M, far more than previous estimates. All the major incidents in the novel are based on real events. It tells the story of Zuzzi and Foxy and their fight for survival, largely living off nature using Romani knowledge of the countryside whilst hidden in woods. The photo was captioned “Resettling Gypsies in the wood” by the soldier who took it, moments before the people were machine gunned, a common ending for Gypsy people. (Source: Robert Dawson Romani Collections.)

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75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition

Ryszard was killed by a person, not Nazism HUGO RIFKIND

JOURNALIST & BROADCASTER

W

hen my children last asked me about the Holocaust – just the other day – I told them about their Great Uncle Ryszard from Krakow. We don’t know much about him, beyond the fact that he was my mum’s first cousin, and he died in 1942. Even this, we know only thanks to a page of testimony filled by another uncle for the Holocaust museum at Yad Vashem. “Circumstance of death,” it says, “action against children in the Podgórze Ghetto”. Ryszard was 10. My oldest daughter is also 10, and old enough to wonder what that means. We can’t know, I told her. By then, he’d have been in the ghetto for a year. Maybe he was running wild, with a gang of kids, and threw a rock at a tank. Brave little kid. Or maybe he got caught stealing food. Or maybe it was something more, well, organised. Planned.

Systematic. We’ll talk about that when you’re older. They’re miracles, my children. Or at least, they are to me. They look like two little Jewish girls, with the same big eyes and curly hair that you see in all those old photos of frightened families in their smartest clothes, holding suitcases. That, though, is only half the story. On their mother’s side, they are German. We go there most summers. They’re bilingual. I find, to my surprise, that it’s not tricky to explain this dual heritage to them, nor remotely traumatic. In fact, it is wonderful. “You’re a triumph,” I tell them. “You’re a mix. You’re everything those bastards feared.” Five years ago, for the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, I wrote a short essay about it for the Holocaust Educational Trust. It went viral online like little else I’ve ever done. Quite often, people still mention it. I wrote of children’s shoes and rooms of dry dusty hair, as people so often do. I wrote, also, of the similarities between the dead and their killers, the way they

both knew cellos, neckties, Mozart. China teapots, varieties of cheese. My intent was to make people connect with the Holocaust not as a crime committed by one tribe against another, but as humanity’s trauma, and humanity’s shame. I had noticed that online discussion of the Holocaust had a habit of disintegrating into bitter debate about Zionism, or Gaza, from one side or the other. I wanted to write something immune to that. I knew what I was doing, and it worked. Although not everybody liked it. Simon Schama, who would know, called it “wellintentioned, but deeply wrong”. His point,

I TELL MY CHILDREN: ‘YOU’RE A TRIUMPH – YOU’RE A MIX, YOU’RE EVERYTHING THOSE BASTARDS FEARED’

made gently, was that whether or not it could have happened to anybody was not the point, because it didn’t. There was, he reminded me, a deep specificity about Nazi antisemitism, quite unlike anything before or since. I worried about that. Sometimes I still do. Had I de-Jewed the Holocaust? Worse still, had that piece gone viral precisely because I had de-Jewed the Holocaust? What a surrender, if so, to the people who want to de-Jew everything else. I think, though, that I stand by it. The Holocaust is indeed a Jewish story, and we must never forget how Ryszard got to the ghetto; what brought him there, and why. Never forget, though, that it wasn’t an ideology that killed him, but a person, and that person was once 10 years old, too. He, too, had shoes, and hair, and dreams, and something brought him to that ghetto, too. Remember both. See yourself in both. Own it, understand it, never let it happen again. That’s what I want to teach my children. That’s the miracle. That’s the triumph. Right there.

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Community / Scene & Be Seen

1 EXCELLENT NEWS

Pupils and staff at Kerem School in Hampstead Garden Suburb celebrated its recent ‘excellent’ rating by ISI, the watchdog for independent schools. The result came after former deputy headteacher Naomi Simon took the helm as head last month. “We are delighted that the hard work of so many people has been recognised,” she said. “I am proud to be the new headteacher at Kerem and excited to work with such a dedicated team of staff working alongside the parents and families of Kerem.”

And be seen! The latest news, pictures and social events from across the community

2 SHOAH LECTURE

Email us at community@thejngroup.com

The London School of Jewish Studies (LSJS) hosted modern Jewish history professor Shirli Gilbert, from University College London’s Hebrew and Jewish studies department, for a lecture on the history of displaced Jews after the Holocaust. The event was organised with the Sir Martin Gilbert Learning Centre and March of the Living UK ahead of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of AuschwitzBirkenau today. Pictured at the event from left are LSJS dean Rabbi Dr Raphael Zarum, Holocaust historian Lady Esther Gilbert, who was married to the late Sir Martin, professor Gilbert and March of the Living UK CEO Cassie Matus.

3 BLAKE’S SNAPSHOT

Veteran photographer Blake Ezra, whose lens captured royals, prime ministers and Hollywood stars, took centre stage at JW3 community centre, regaling his audience with personal stories from his life and career. JW3 CEO Raymond Simonson hailed Ezra’s storytelling ability, saying: “We’ve had Oscar winners and world leaders on this stage. Nobody gets more than an hour. Blake Ezra has just had a packed room of 250 people hanging off his every word for two hours. He bared his soul, giving us a unique insight into his philosophy, values, life, inspirations, and career. We got to glimpse the world through his eyes and his lens, and it was beautiful,” he said. Ezra returns to JW3 on 17 June.

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Jewish News 27 January 2020

Scene & Be Seen / Community 5

5 DISH OF THE DAY

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More than 200 budding chefs sought to whip up the tastiest meals during cook-off competitions in Hendon and Stamford Hill, in aid of Chana, which helps people facing infertility. Entries were judged by kosher chef and Perfect Flavours author Naomi Nachman, who scoured the room as participants swiftly cooked up dishes in just 30 minutes, using only the ingredients presented to them. Pastry chef Jenny Hollander, of Jenny’s Cakes, helped organise the Hendon competition and donated an array of desserts.

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6 INCLUSION MONTH

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Jewish teens helped launch ALEH UK’s Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month with a special workshop organised in conjunction with Project ImpACT and Kisharon. Participants designed a poster to promote the campaign and met Moishe, who has Down’s syndrome and is supported by Kisharon. He spoke about his journey towards achieving greater independence and his passion for football. Liron RosinerReshef, director of British Friends of ALEH, said the month “is a call to action for all of us in the Jewish community to take responsibility and to act by our Jewish values, celebrating the rights of all Jews to be included, regardless of their disability.”

WE TAUGHT OUR PUPILS THAT NO MATTER THE DISTANCE, WE CAN STILL SHOW THAT WE CARE 9

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7 AUSTRALIA AID

Nancy Reuben Primary School pupils made cards and held a cake sale to raise money for a community affected by the Australian bushfires. Headteacher Anthony Wolfson said the

project helped “connect the children with the awful situation they have been hearing in the news, while teaching the children that no matter what the distance is between our communities, it is still possible to show we care.”

8 FIGHTING FIT

Britain’s oldest fitness instructor Minnie Solomons, 102, led a chair-based fitness class at Jewish Care’s Holocaust Survivor’s Centre. The great-grandmother-of-four, who teaches a class every week, also spoke with members about leading a healthy lifestyle and staying fit. She has been a keep fit instructor for more than 60 years.

9 FOOD FOR THOUGHT More than a dozen young Barnet Synagogue members, pictured, teamed up with homeless charity Rhythms of Life, to make Shepherd’s pie and apple crumble for people living on the streets. Arnold Moscisker from the synagogue’s chessed committee, said: “Unfortunately, the needs of the homeless and rough sleepers are very great, so it was important for us to have a cooking session with children to make them aware of these issues.”

10HAPPY TO HELP

Rebecca Preston from Chigwell celebrated her batmitzvah by inviting friends to donate unused toiletries to the charity GIFT. Joined by her parents Rashelle and Andy and other families, she packed up donations in decorative cellophane to distribute to families in need. Her proud parents said: “Everyone was very pleased to help.”

Your family announcements Adam Moscow celebrated his barmitzvah at Chigwell & Hainault Synagogue

Dylan Lack celebrated his barmitzvah at Shenley United Synagogue

Photo by The Photo People

Daniel Elias and Shiri Cohen Ezy and Hazel Elias, of Sydney, Australia, are delighted to announce the engagement of their son Daniel to Shiri Cohen daughter of the late Diana Cohen z’l. Mazeltov to their friends and family, near and far.

Photo by Kate Swerdlow Photography

Photo by Paul Lang Photography

Maddy Aziz celebrated her batmitzvah at Beat London

Have you had a recent simcha? Send your picture to picturedesk@thejngroup.com


27 January 2020 Jewish News

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45 YEARS

From Holocaust survivors to children undergoing chemotherapy All visitors to Israel who need Yad Sarah will also receive the royal treatment* (*May not include red carpet)

Yad Sarah provides personalised services for tourists with special needs. For advance arrangements, email michael@yadsarah.org.uk or call 020 3397 3363

Join us at our annual GALA DINNER on February 26th 2020 Central London Venue Guest Speaker: Television and LBC Radio Host – Nick Ferrari For more information, please visit: www.yadsarah.org.uk/dinner Charity No 294801

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JN 75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition

Eternal

Projects4Change Youth Project Newcastle, North East

The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust invited groups from across the UK to create a memorial flame, 75 of which will form a national exhibition to be launched at the UK Commemorative Ceremony for Holocaust Memorial Day

HOLDING ON Inspired by Marta Joseph’s talk about her father’s experiences of being helped on a death march when he stumbled, a line of marching paper becomes a memorial flame.

Brighton Jewish Arts Society Brighton, South East THE LIGHT OF SABBATH DREAMS Members of this group loaned their family candlesticks for this project. Here they represent Jews murdered in the Holocaust, with flames drifting to heaven in their memory.

HMP Wymott: Voices in Reflection Leyland, North West FLAME OF REFLECTION Designed by prisoners, the candle held by three individuals represents standing together in remembrance.

Holywell School Cranfield, East of England

Sunderland Library Services

A LIGHT WILL SHINE Some 770 secondary pupils and staff lit and extinguished matches, each representing 12,338 people murdered.

FREI Based on the message Arbeit Macht Frei, 75 boxes make the word FREI, to represent the isolation, strength and courage of concentration camp prisoners .Blacksmith Darren Vitty worked with Y6 pupils.

Upholland Roby Mill Skelmersdale, North West FLAME OF HOPE The village school of 28 primary school pupils took inspiration from Anne Frank’s diary, using her quotes in the flame to show how the past disappears like smoke.

Maurice Blik Colchester, East of England THE HUMAN FLAME This sculpture was created by Holocaust survivor Maurice Blik for this project. As a small child he was deported from Amsterdam to Bergen-Belsen. Many of his family were murdered. In 1996, Bilk was elected President of the Royal Society of British Sculptors.

Dowlais Quilters Dowlais, Wales 75 FLAMES FOR 75 YEARS Members of Dowlais Quilters created a wall hanging of 75 patchwork flames that create one large, vibrant flame.

HMP Frankland Durham, North West STANDING TOGETHER A prisoners’ art group made make Stephen Leonard’s Flame, representing hope, and a beacon for people to gather around.


27 January 2020 Jewish News

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75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition

Crafty Ladies Skipton, Yorkshire and the Humber FLAMES OF REMEMBRANCE This handmade book has 75 pages, each influenced by an aspect of the Holocaust. Tiny flames on each page remind the viewer to keep the flame of remembrance burning.

Irena Sendlers Polish School Hull, Yorkshire and Humberside Students at this Saturday school, named after a woman who rescued 2,500 Jewish children in Poland, created an artwork showing students and staff standing together against hate speech and racism.

Bournemouth School Bournemouth, South West A FLIGHT OF REFLECTION Staff and students made 75 origami butterflies from atlases – representing the geographic spread of the Holocaust – pages from The Diary of Anne Frank and HMDT resources and placed them on a candle.

Ysgol Maesydderwen Swansea Valley, Wales Madstone Ltd Grays, Essex ETERNAL FLAME A stone company worked with Thurrock Council to create a flame which appears to rise up against the night sky. The shoes symbolise people coming together towards the flame from near and far.

Northgate High School Ipswich FRANK BRIGHT After survivor Frank Bright shared his testimony with students, they created this flame to remember his classmates at his Jewish school in Prague.

SEFYLL GYDA’N GILYDD | STAND TOGETHER Bonded pieces of wood show the strength people create when they come together. The handprints illustrate the future is in our hands.

Bishop Martin C of E School Skelmersdale SHINE BRIGHT TOGETHER A Y6 group discussed how to stop genocides, saying, ‘Humans need to stand in friendship and respect to ignite a flame that outshines the darkness of the past.’ This flame is the result.

AVOW Wrexham, Wales WREXHAM TOGETHER FLAME | WRECSAM FFLAM YNGHYD A collaborative artwork of hand and foot prints by those who live, work, volunteer and go to school in Wrexham.

Perton Crafters, Wolverhampton

Lathom Junior School London THE FLAME Inspired by the Holocaust Memorial Day logo, pupils created a mobile to remember genocide victims. One student said, ‘I wanted to say sorry to all those people, I wish they were here now’.

FOR THE CHILDREN OF THE HOLOCAUST A memorial to the author Judith Kerr and to all the children who died, this was put together by women and children who meet in the local library.

Kelvinbridge Sew and Sews Scotland SHARING THE LIGHT, STRONGER TOGETHER Created by a group who have studied genocide, this will hang in their church. Everyone carries a flame of hope.


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JN 75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition

‘Windermere made me feel human again’

From left: Harry Olmer, Kacper Swietek, Arek Hersh, Tomasz Studzinski, Pascal Fischer, Sir Ben Helfgott, Marek Wrobelewski, Sam Laskier, Kuba Sprenger, Ike Alterman

Francine Wolfisz meets the cast and survivors portrayed in a film showing how 300 Jewish orphans were saved by Britain

I

nside the art classroom, a group of children thoughtfully paint whatever comes to mind, but the more usual depictions of a beaming sunshine, a bright blue sky and happy families from the imaginations of the young are nowhere to be seen. Instead, for these child survivors of the Holocaust, their paper is daubed with the darkest of colours, some subtly and others more openly expressing their loss, their trauma, and the brutality they have witnessed during the war. It’s just one of the soul-stirring scenes from BBC2’s emotive drama, The Windermere Children, which airs tonight (Monday) on BBC2, and relates the true-life story of how 300 young Jewish orphans were brought to the tranquil surroundings of Lake Windermere as part of an effort to help rehabilitate them after the war. Bafta-nominated screenwriter Simon Block and award-winning director Michael Samuels have employed a stellar cast, including Thomas Kretschmann (The Pianist), Romola Garai (The Miniaturist), Tim McInnerny (The Trial of Christine Keeler) and Iain Glen (Game of Thrones). In all, the British government agreed that up to 1,000 young Jewish concentration camp survivors could be brought over to England, thanks to the lobbying efforts of Jewish philanthropist Leonard Montefiore and the Central British Fund, now known as World Jewish Relief. For the youngsters who ended up at Windermere – who were known collectively as “The Boys” although there were also 40 girls in their number – they were housed in the workers’ accommodation of a seaplane factory that had become defunct following the end of the war, and were given access to art therapy, counselling and a fitness coach. While the UK had granted them all two-year

temporary visas, it was apparent there was nowhere else for these children to go and the majority ended up staying in the UK for the rest of their lives. Many have stayed in touch with one another to this day. At a special screening of the drama, survivor Arek Hersh, 91, recalls with appreciation how his life was forever changed by his arrival in Britain. “I started feeling like I’m a human being again, that’s what Windermere did to me,” he says. Harry Olmer, 92, closes his eyes as he says simply: “It was freedom, we hadn’t known freedom in more than five years.” Meanwhile for Polish-born Sam Laskier, 92, who survived four concentration camps, coming to England meant he could start rebuilding his life. “After just a few months, it wasn’t like we could get back to normal – we would never get back to normal again. But at least we know we can have bread on the table, we can have jam on the table. “To this day, a piece of bread and jam is good enough for me.” Tim McInnerny, who plays philanthropist Leonard Montefiore, described hearing the survivors speak as an “overwhelming” experience, adding that it was “a privilege” to have portrayed their story, especially given its pertinence to proposed changes to the immigration system after Brexit. He tells me: “The UK is a mongrel race and for 1,000 years people have been welcomed to this island. I hope this somehow helps redress any balance there may be about whether we should accept refugees into this country anymore – because that’s what built this country.” Game of Thrones actor Iain Glen, who portrays sports coach Jock Lawrence, adds that the story brings home just how “transformative” Britain proved to the youngsters’ lives. “Here they are, they’re alive and they went on to

Iain Glen (centre) as Jock

do such extraordinary things. They were always incredibly grateful to the UK for their safe haven.” Over a period of four months the children gradually emerge from their traumatised shells and regain their confidence by learning to speak English, play football and ride bikes. It was also at Windermere that Marie Paneth, a contemporary of Sigmund Freud’s daughter Anna, introduced the pioneering idea of art therapy. Romola Garai, whose Hungarian-Jewish relatives were murdered in the Holocaust, describes the real-life woman she portrays as “truly incredible”. She adds: “Therapy came up against the greatest tragedy of all human history and found itself not quite prepared for that. People didn’t know what they were doing except that they understood the human experience had to be more than just survival, it also had to be happiness – and they tried to generate that feeling again in the children.” For Harry Spiro, 90, that happiness came

Romola Garai (right) as Marie and Anna Maciejewska as Sala

simply from surviving and defying Hitler. “I was the only one who survived from the whole of my family,” he says movingly. “Family is the most important thing, and now 75 years down the line I’m married, I’ve got three children and nine grandchildren. I never thought I would have a family. Yes, I suffered loss, but I also got my life back.” • The Windermere Children airs on Monday 27 January, 9pm, on BBC2


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PICTURES OF DEFIANCE Hannah Gelbart with survivors Arek Hersh and Sam Laskier in Theresienstadt

BBC News journalist Hannah Gelbart travels with a group of Holocaust survivors to Prague, where they were liberated, to recollect and to celebrate the families that were never meant to exist A group of Holocaust survivors, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are gathered in Prague’s Old Town square. They embrace, they sing, they cheer. There’s joy in their expressions, and determination. The families standing in that square were never meant to exist. Seven men and women are in the front row. They’re the oldest members of the crowd and they’ve been here before – when they were children, freed after years in Nazi concentration camps. A camera sails over the crowd on a high pole. It flashes. The sky darkens with the promise of rain and umbrellas bloom. The photo they’ve just taken is a replica of a black and white photograph taken in 1945. The old photo shows a group of orphaned Jewish children, who had all survived the camps. My grandfather, David Herman, was one of the children who survived. He died 10 years ago and I wish I could have asked him more about his story. I’m in the new photo, along with

12 members of my family – but I’m also there as a journalist making a documentary for BBC News about the stories behind it. As I rehearse my piece to camera in the square, I think that this is surely the most important story I will ever tell. It’s a privilege to be able to work on a project so close to my heart and show it to millions of people around the world. One day, I’d like to share it with the youngest members of my family, those who never knew my grandpa. I’m interviewing three survivors for the film. They were all in Prague in 1945 and have returned here in May 2019. Sam Laskier is 91. He pulls back his sleeve and shows me the tattoo on his arm, its green letters and numbers burnt into the soft papery folds of his skin: B-2413. He tells me the facts, but the emotions lie deeper. As we look through photos together, he says he still has nightmares about the camps. “How did it feel to be a teenager in a Nazi concentration camp?” I ask. The feelings are difficult to put into

words. The only one that comes up over and again is hunger. A gaping pain in your stomach. Living without knowing when your next meal will be. “We were traumatised all the time,” says Ike Alterman, also 91. “We were worried where the next piece of bread was going to come from because we were hungry. We were starving.” He opens an old cardboard box and lays sepia photos out on the dining table. “This is the moment that we found out that the guards had disappeared and we were told we were free. That’s me, the one waving his cap,” he says, pointing to a wagon full of emaciated bodies. “We were supposed to be gassed the following morning, because they couldn’t take us anywhere else and they knew there was a crematorium at Theresienstadt.” Ike speaks slowly, with pauses between each word. In the depths of his eyes, I see a 13-year-old boy, moving from camp to camp, transported in cattle trucks along railway lines, to freedom. Freedom. Sam’s face

lights up. “Prague brings back nice memories,” he says, “because that’s where I was liberated, so we weren’t beaten up or shouted at.” The Russians were kind to the children. They shared bread with them, gave them chocolate and let them ride on their tanks. They also gave them 24 hours to do whatever they wanted, even take revenge on Germans. But few, if any of the freed prisoners, wanted blood on their hands; all they were interested in was filling their stomachs after years of starvation. Some ate so much that their gaunt bodies couldn’t cope and they needed hospital treatment. Others died from indigestion. Together we visit Theresienstadt, the former ghetto and Nazi camp where most of this group was liberated. Around 40 miles from Prague along rolling country roads, nowadays it’s a normal town and a memorial. An elderly woman pushes a shopping trolley. Tourists flock around in groups, visiting the former barracks, crematorium and ghetto museum. We head to the Jewish cemetery and I share a moment with Arek Hersh, who was imprisoned here for

eight days before the liberation. He describes the space around us when he first arrived: pile upon pile of corpses, and sick bays containing living skeletons. Later I see those faces – the anguish, the defiance – as I trawl through reels of archive to piece my film together. Snapshots of death etched into my mind. Now, the mass graves at Theresienstadt are marked by an expanse of tombstones. They say that birds don’t sing on the sites of concentration camps, but it’s the only sound we hear. A memorial service is held, the air swelling with the cantor’s prayer; a minute’s silence to remember the dead. But we’re in Prague to celebrate the survivors, the ones who got out of the camps alive, my grandpa among them. He was one of more than 700 children brought to the UK after 1945. They grew up together, like brothers and sisters, built successful new lives and had children of their own. Their families became part of my extended family. More than 200 of us have come to Prague to see where our parents and grandparents stood after they were liberated. We sing and cheer as the

bells of the famous astronomical clock chime on the hour, determination etched on every face: determination to remember the Holocaust, to tell the stories of those who lived through it and those who did not. • Hannah’s documentary The Families Who Weren’t Meant To Live, first aired on BBC News last June, is available to watch on BBC iPlayer and YouTube Survivors and their families in Prague’s Old Town Square, seven of whom are also in the picture of orphaned children (inset) taken at the same spot in 1945


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JN 75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition

REMEMBRANCE Alex Galbinski travels to Berlin and discovers a city unafraid to reflect on its past

REVIVAL Caption here

S

tanding in the boutique hotel Orania.Berlin in the trendy Berlin suburb of Kreuzberg, my friend and I admired its warm, burnt orange and chocolate interior. We also noted the art deco building’s fractured windows – a result of an anti-gentrification protest held in the adjacent and buzzing Oranienplatz not long after it opened in 2017. But instead of replacing them, Orania.Berlin has retained them, a testament to its commitment to becoming very much a part of its surroundings, rather than rising above them. The only five-star hotel in the area, the hallmark of Orania.Berlin is its friendly staff and understated urban luxury. Its historic building was commissioned in 1913 by Jewish merchant and city councillor Leopold Jacobi. Kreuzberg, one of the German capital’s eastern suburbs, is traditionally the home of artists, who moved into the area because it was cheaper and edgier. A multicultural area with a large Turkish population, it has a real independent vibe – with chain-free shops and restaurants. Yvonne, the friendly concierge, suggested we visit Berlin’s oldest residential quarter, Nikolaiviertel, at the heart of which is the striking, double-spired St Nicholas’ Church. The cobbled streets and small-style houses belie the historical reality of it having been bombed and rebuilt in the late 1980s. Our return to the hotel took us via the beautiful River Spree – on which you can take a scenic boat tour. Despite not speaking German, navigating the underground (U-Bahn) and bus network was straightforward. Beautiful also in the day, Orania.Berlin becomes especially alive at night. Comfortable

sofas and armchairs in the lounge area, with two open fires for extra cosiness, ensure you won’t want to leave. The salon – with its Steinway piano – hosts classical, jazz and world music concerts, film screenings and talks. There is also a gym – but you’re unlikely to make time to go. With only 41 rooms and suites, the hotel feels intimate. But it’s also spacious; my friend and I shared a roomy junior suite, the windows of which were tall and airy and overlooked the square, with an equally generous bathroom. As throughout the hotel, Asian-inspired red furnishings featured elephant motifs and the food served in the restaurant is inventive and delicious. Unlike other cities, Berlin has confronted its past and has many monuments attesting to Jewish life – and persecution. Jews are recorded as having lived in the city since the 13th century, and they have been instrumental in its cultural and economic life. By the 1920s, there were around 170,000 Jews in the city, the largest Jewish population in Germany, most of whom – including the wife of the now deceased Jacobi – were forced to flee the country after Adolf Hitler was elected Chancellor in 1933. Some 55,000 Berlin Jews were murdered in the Holocaust. We visited the Daniel Libeskind-designed Fallen Leaves installation at the Jewish Museum

Clockwise from above: Engelbecken in Kreuzberg, Alex by a section of the Berlin Wall, and part of the lounge area at Orania.Berlin

Jewish Museum, a stark building with a titaniumzinc façade and concrete voids that felt oppressive and eerie. The permanent exhibition is currently being modernised, but we were able to see the Fallen Leaves installation by Menashe Kadishman. Covering the ground floor void are more than 10,000 faces cut from heavy round iron plates, which some feel disconcerting to walk over. Exhibits from the Nazi era tell of personal stories related to exclusion and forced emigration as well as – obviously – death, but the A Is for Jewish: Journeys through Now in 22 Letters was more uplifting and featured surprising explorations about what it means to be Jewish in Germany today. The Jewish community in Berlin is one of the fastest growing in the country. While antisemitism has certainly not been eradicated, there are now reported to be more than 30,000 Jews in the city, including thousands of Israelis, some of whom have opened restaurants showcasing their cuisine. We walked through some of the 2,711 grey concrete slabs that make up the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. The stones – of different heights – are imposing and disorientating, and are a stark memorial directly in the centre of the city, near the Brandenburg Gate, while the underground information centre provides context to the victims and their history. A visit to Berlin is not complete without an

appreciation of its communist past, and nowhere is this more poignant than standing at Checkpoint Charlie, the most infamous crossing point between the communist East and the Allied West. The stories of those who tried, or managed, to flee are told in the Mauermuseum. Sections of the Berlin Wall – built in 1961 and demolished in 1989 as communism collapsed – are able to be seen in various parts of the city. After a leisurely lunch at the Asia Street Kitchen Festival, held at Kreuzberg’s hip beer garden venue Birgit & Bier, we spent a good couple of hours tracing the steps of what was once the Wall and is now the 1.3km East Side Gallery, the world’s largest open-air gallery displaying many iconic murals. We barely scratched the surface of things to see and do in Berlin, but we made a good start. Whether culture, history, eating and drinking or shopping is your bag, this city has it all.

ALEX’S TRAVEL TIPS

Orania.Berlin is available from €270 (£228) per night, based on two adults sharing an Orania.25 room and including breakfast and tickets to all concerts at the hotel. https://orania.berlin The Berlin Welcome Card (www.berlin-welcome card.de/en) costs €23 (£19) for 48 hours and gives free entry to 30 attractions as well as discounts. For tourist information, see www.visitberlin.de


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75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition

M

SKI’S MARIE’S OBUCHOW

arie Obuchowski was born in 1931 in Brussels. When war broke out, Marie’s family fled to France where they were sent to an “open campâ€? and then to the French concentration camp, Rivesalte. She was one of many hundreds of Jewish children helped by Ĺ’uvre de Secours aux Enfants (OSE), a French-Jewish humanitarian organisation that saved and aided many hundreds of mainly Jewish refugee children. Marie was taken with her brother from the camp to a hostel in Versailles until it was discovered by the Germans and was then one of four girls sent to a convent where only the Mother Superior knew of her background. Her brother was sent to a farm. She remained hidden until the war ended and travelled to England to live with her uncle. Marie’s late husband Bob was also a survivor of the Holocaust, having been in the Lodz ghetto, Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Theresienstadt and Rhemsdorf.

LATE CAKE CHERISHED CHOCO 1. Put margarine, sugar, sieved cocoa and water in bowl and into the microwave. 2. Put on for 1½ mins, mix, then another 1½ mins. Mix again. 3. Separate five eggs. 4. Take five tablespoons of the chocolate mixture and put in the fridge. This will be for the topping. 5. Beat the whites and beat the yolks separately and add to the chocolate mixture. Let it cool. 6. Add the flour to the chocolate mixture. Bake 1 hour at gas mark 3/170°C. 7. Once chilled, pour the refrigerated chocolate mixture over the cake. For more information about the Holocaust Survivors’ Centre call 020 8203 9033 or visit jewishcare.org

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Torah For Today

SEDRA Va’era BY REBBETZEN DINA GOLKER We are told in this week’s parsha, Va’era, that the first of the 10 plagues, the turning of all the waters in Egypt, and especially of the Nile, into blood took place in the presence of Pharoah and his servants standing on the riverside. A further verse reads: “And Pharoah turned around and came to his palace, and did not set his heart to this also”. The K’sav Sofer, in his Torah commentary, ponders what exactly is meant by the expression “to this also”, because after all, the plague of blood was just the first of the 10 plagues. He answers that when Pharoah arrived back at his palace, he must have seen all around him his servants and officials suffering bitterly from their inability to drink any water, because all sources of water had turned

to blood. This constituted the gravest crisis, as humans cannot live without water. Yet Pharoah, as a result of his arrogance, his perverted ideology and ardent desire to get the better of Moses whatever the cost, remained totally oblivious to the suffering of his own people. We perceive the same phenomenon today: the Iranian leaders, in their intense hatred of Israel and the West, are quite prepared to turn a blind eye to the suffering of their own citizens, currently reeling under the dire effect of harsh economic sanctions, and even recklessly to indulge in criminal and totally irresponsible activities they know may well imperil the lives of ordinary, innocent Iranians.

 Rebbetzen Dina Golker is the assistant rebbetzin of St John’s Wood Synagogue

What does the Torah say about: Faith in adversity BY RABBI NAFTALI SCHIFF Twenty-five years ago, as we prepared to take a group of students to Poland for the first time, the same question kept tormenting me: “Dear survivor, When you lost all that is dear to you and it seems God has abandoned you, how and why do you not lose faith in Him?” I felt that this was the greatest educational challenge, one we would meet at every turn. How was it possible for some survivors after the Holocaust to live with faith after such adversity and loneliness? It was obvious that it would be arrogant and inappropriate to try to answer this question ourselves. The search for clarity propelled me to interview more

DEAR SURVIVOR, HOW AND WHY DO YOU NOT LOSE FAITH IN GOD?

than 100 survivors across the globe, as pictured, getting an in-depth picture of their lives before, during and after the Holocaust, gently probing this question. The first survivor I interviewed reminisced about the last seder he had with his family and how his father had perhaps unknowingly inoculated him with the deep-seated belief that even in the darkest of times, such as our slavery in Egypt, salvation can be round the corner. He reminded me that since the beginning of our time as a people, Jews have faced adversity. In every generation, we have been pushed to our limits,

challenged and persecuted, and yet here we are to tell the story. With every interview, the response to “how did you keep the faith?” rang with a similar resonance. It wasn’t necessarily philosophical, or a treatise on theology or religion; it was of a deeper, foundational, almost primal quality. We kept the faith because that is who we are; this is what my parents and grandparents were. I have lost all, but my faith and practice is my true identity on the deepest level and this is what I want to be. Our faith can never truly be separated from being Jewish: the ability to rise above adversity by connecting to our weltanschaung, our traditions, our practice, our people and our future. It is specifically that faith that carried so many through the darkest of years and propelled them to rebuild a vibrant future, which is in our hands to embrace.  Rabbi Schiff is founder of JRoots, which is partnering Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Foundation to honour 120 survivors in Poland this week

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JN 75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition

The Bible Says What? ‘Jewish people must not contact idol worshippers’ BY RABBI LAURA JANNER-KLAUSNER It is hardly a shocking revelation to say that our religious texts take a dim view of idolatry. It is right there in the Ten Commandments, second only to recognising God’s existence. What might be a surprise are the lengths Jewish practice has gone to in order to distance Jews from those who worship idols. The Talmud says that within three days of one of their festivals, Jews mustn’t have any dealings at all with those considered idolaters: no business, no lending or borrowing, no repaying them or collecting debt from them. It seems that Jews would need to cut ourselves off from others on a consistent basis, so much so that you would think it was likely that Jews would find themselves alone for most or even all of the time. Even in a pre-industrial time, before the world was as interconnected as we are today, surely it was an enormous hardship for Jews to

have to isolate themselves in this way. Is that really the message we should learn? That we should stand alone in the world? It is key is to think carefully about what is considered idolatry. It isn’t just those with other viewpoints; it is specific practices which create a false way of viewing the world, putting possessions and material goods at the centre of existence. There is nothing at all wrong with working with other communities. The opposite is the case. We are being taught to work with those who, like us, want to reach for something more than making wealth or objects the pinnacle of our existence. The lesson is not to isolate ourselves, but to find allies who share our values and make them our partners in building a better world for us all.

 Laura Janner-Klausner is Senior Rabbi to the Movement for Reform Judaism

Progressively Speaking How do we teach the young about the Holocaust? BY RABBI SANDRA KVIAT Telling children about the Holocaust is one of the hardest things a parent or teacher has to face when educating the next generation. Luckily our community and wider society are blessed with an abundance of resources to help. A wealth of information and educational packages are offered by the Anne Frank Trust, Yad Vashem, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, which suggest not being afraid to approach the subject, keeping the content age-appropriate, putting the history into context and giving time for self-reflection. What is vital is having survivors speak in our schools and cheders, so that we can hear first hand what they went through, as well as a visit to the National Holocaust Centre and Museum in Newark, Nottinghamshire, with its exhibitions and talks suitable for different age ranges. Another key issue is to focus not

only on the death and degradation, but also on how people maintained their sense of Jewish identity. One American synagogue recently used a photo of a seder in a ghetto as part of this approach, arguing that we shouldn’t allow only Nazi images and timelines to dictate our teaching and learning, but rather to tell the story from pictures, literature, art and music left behind by that generation. We need the story to begin before the rise of the Nazis and to continue beyond the liberation of the camps. Social media are also being used

for innovative approaches to Holocaust education. Eva Stories (pictured) is a colourful, Instagram retelling of the true story of a 13-year-old Hungarian girl who died in Auschwitz, complete with hashtags and emojis. It has 1.4 million followers. This can be an effective way of teaching a generation through the technologies they are most familiar with. But if not done properly it can be in bad taste and crude. There is no one answer to how we should teach young people about the Holocaust, or which forms of technology are acceptable. The core of how we teach has to be grounded in care, respect and honouring. We should strive to tell stories that are reliable, authentic and relatable, so that Holocaust education continues to be a source of learning, connection and care for others and ourselves. Rabbi Sandra Kviat serves Crouch End Chavurah

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75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition

candicekrieger@googlemail.com

With Candice Krieger

SUCCESS IS ABOUT KEEPING AN EYE ON THE NITTY GRITTY

I

Startup expert James Bott sold his app store optimisation company The Aso Co to digital agency Jellyfish just two-and-a-half years after it launched. He tells Candice Krieger that successful apps are the ones that solve real problems

t’s every entrepreneur’s dream: start a business, build it into a market leader and sell it to a major global company. And that is exactly what 35 yearold James Bott has managed to do. The co-founder of The Aso Co, the world’s largest app store optimisation (ASO) agency, Bott sold the business in 2018 to Jellyfish, a worldwide digital agency, just two and a half years after it launched. Founded in 2016 with fellow former M&C Saatchi colleague Thomas Twigg, The ASO Co helps apps to succeed. App Store Optimisation is the knack of optimising an app’s organic search visibility and conversion rate. Put simply, “It’s all about getting people to see the app, and then download it,” says Bott, a Leeds-born, father of two. His clients include eBay, Facebook, Trainline, Spotify, Hotels.com and Pokémon GO. The ASO Co recently won Most Effective Search Campaign at the Effective Mobile Marketing Awards. Bott, who is based in London, was the former global head of business development at M&C Saatchi Mobile when he realised that App Store Optimisation was very under catered for, somewhat surprising given the statistics: there are more than five billion mobile users in the world and, according to reports, AppStore consumer spending is set to rise by 92 percent to $157 billion (£120 billion) worldwide by 2022. More than 190 billion apps were downloaded in the first half of 2019, with 258 billion downloads expected in 2022 (data from App Annie). “We looked at the market to partner with another agency but quickly realised there was a distinct lack of general understanding of how the App Stores worked,” recalls Bott. Bott and Twigg invested £1,500 each, and a couple of months after launching they had their first big break: the chance to pitch for eBay. “We were up against eight other agencies. We thought we would give it a go but is it actually ever going to happen? “I remember the call saying we’d got it. The deal was bigger than anticipated which meant we had revenue coming in very quickly and could start hiring almost immediately.” The 40-strong team are

now based in Jellyfish’s London HQ in The Shard. So, Jellyfish? “We couldn’t believe it. It’s amazing. “We hadn’t really planned to sell at that stage; we started getting interest from agencies in December 2017 but pushed it back. “Jellyfish were the perfect partner for us,” says Bott, a patron of the charity Jewish Blind & Disabled. “Our agencies complement each other’s services, giving both sets of clients a broader and more comprehensive product range. They’re also lovely people.” The ASO Co is fully boot-strapped – built up only from savings – and has “never taken a penny of investment”. “Often people get praised for raising money but we have always been very proud of the fact that we actually make money. Many businesses raise to hire, but over-hiring can make or break a business, a risk we didn’t want to take.” And then Bott knows a thing or two about start-ups, having previously started two: JewelleryBoxx.com, which quickly became one of the UK’s largest online jewellery retailers; the company was sold at the end of 2009, and the online music service CompareDownload, the world’s first price comparison website for ‘legal’ music downloads. But he soon realised that paying for downloads was on its way out and so he shut up shop. He reflects: “Jewellery Boxx was right place right time but the way I ran that business was chaotic. With Compare Download, it was smoother, but easier because there were less moving parts. “So when we set up The ASO Co I said to myself: ‘Right, this is going to be the most organised business on the planet.’ I had management accounts from day one. A lot of people that start businesses are quite unorganised which will affect its efficiency.” Perhaps that is why some fail while others doing a similar thing succeed? “It’s having a real eye on the nitty gritty, and having a close understanding of, not just revenue, but profitability per client. “There are fame and fortune clients. A fame client might be a Coca-Cola but they don’t spend a penny, and you might have a small start-up who has just raised a million quid and is paying

The Aso Co team at their offices in digital agency Jellyfish’s London HQ at The Shard

Facebook is among The Aso Co’s big-name clients

£50,000 a month. It’s really important to know which clients are actually bringing money in. It’s very easy to over-service a big client, and it’s really hard to see that unless you understand exactly how the accounts are run.” It is undeniable that the mobile app market is growing at a super-fast rate. As of August 2019, 4.42 million apps were available between the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store (data from Clearbridge). Some 700 million apps are downloaded per day (Tech

Jury, Statista), with an estimated 800,000 apps are being built each year. And while developer talent is high, creating an app is no easy feat – around 80-90 percent of mobile apps launched in the app stores are reportedly abandoned after a single use. So what makes a successful one? “It has to give value,” says Bott, who used to attend the United Hebrew Congregation in Leeds (Shadwell Lane Synagogue), where his family are members. “There are lots of apps that are trying to solve problems that aren’t there. If you look at the successful apps, they’re actually really simple but solve a massive problem: Uber – gets you from A to B; eBay – buy and sell goods; Deliveroo – food comes to your door... I think people try and reinvent the wheel but it’s about simplifying not complicating.” Trainline is an app he really rates. “I use it five times a day. It’s phenomenal. A lot of people might just use it to check the trains but I guarantee that when it comes to buying a train ticket, they will use it.” Bott is doing his best to make sure of it.


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Our trusty team of advisers answers your questions about everything from law and finance to dating and dentistry. This week: Options for whitening your teeth , networking while jobseeking, and defending yourself from attack There are two broad options to whiten your teeth. In-house whitening involves the DENTIST dentist applying whitening solution to your GINGERBREAD HOUSE teeth in the dental chair. This is a one-off session, with immediate effect. Dear Adam Home whitening involves custom-made I'd like to whiten my teeth. Can you advise whitening trays being made by the laboratory how best to do this? and fitted by your dentist. The whitening in Alon this case is then carried out at home by you Dear Alon over a number of weeks. Some patients may Whitening is considered a medical procechoose a combination approach. dure and as such should only be prescribed There are side-effects and risks associated by your dentist. with whitening your teeth, the most common It is important to have a full clinical exami- being sensitive teeth and sore gums. nation before whitening your teeth to ensure Your dentist will be able to guide you on that your teeth and gums are healthy and which system is likely to provide you with the that the correct and safe doses of whitening safest and most effective tooth whitening to solution are established by your dentist. ultimately achieve the smile you desire. DR ADAM NEWMAN

CLAIRE STRAUS CAREER ADVISER

RESOURCE Dear Claire I've been unemployed forsix months. I used to be a good networker when working. Why is it so hard now and what might help? Jeremy Dear Jeremy Networking is a crucial career management skill to reach the people and knowledge you need to find work. Remember when jobseeking you are asking for information and advice –

never for a job. Fortunately you have experience of doing networking well. Jobseekers often find networking difficult. Selfesteem may be lower, and feelings of isolation and fear of rejection are more prominent, compared to when working. However, networking can play a positive role in maintaining connections, remaining in the professional sphere and boosting morale,as well as in securing a new job. First, identify your barriers. Does networking make you feel vulnerable, ashamed, false or that you are using others? It may help to think what you would do for others in your situation. Recognise the reciprocity of friendship, and understand

that people like to help. Some find it helpful to consciously put on a front, feeling more confident in this identity or to come up with an angle to ensure mutual benefit. Second, it may help to reframe the concept of networking. It is a research tool that involves connecting with others. Think of it as mutual sharing of views, ideas and information. Third, even if you don’t have access to your professional network and ex-colleagues, you have other communities (Jewish, sports, school) with useful connections. Finally, Resource has a networking department ready and able to help, so call us on 020 8346 4000 or visit www.resource-centre.org. Good luck!

CARL WOOLF DEFENCE SOLICITOR

NOBLE SOLICITORS Hi Carl I'm worried about the levels of antisemitism and my safety. What can I do to defend myself? Simon Simon A person may use reasonable force in self-defence of themself or another or of property. The law in relation to selfdefence is not always readily

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understood and if you are involved in an incident and are arrested, you must seek advice and assistance from a criminal law specialist. The Courts will always ask; Did the defendant honestly believe that there was a need for any force at all; and was the force used reasonable in the circumstances? The law accepts that you don’t have to be physically assaulted, before you can strike back in self-defence. If someone genuinely feels that they or another are about to be assaulted, then they can ‘strike first’ , which is known as a ‘pre-emptive strike’. The response must be necessary and reasonable in the circumstances and proportionate. A person being attacked

has every right to defend themselves with reasonable force and with any means at their disposal, including anything you might be carrying, such as keys, rings, pens, umbrellas, hairsprays and so on. You are not however allowed to carry anything classified as an offensive weapon. This would include items such as a knife, a knuckle-duster, CS gas or Tear Gas, even if legally purchased abroad. You also cannot carry anything which has been adapted to cause injury, such as a bottle that has been deliberately broken. Self-defence classes such as Krav Maga lessons can help you to learn to properly defend yourself if the worse happens.


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JN 75th Anniversary Commemorative Edition DIRECTOR OF LEGACIES

JEWELLER

CAROLYN ADDLEMAN Qualifications: Lawyer with more than 15 years’ experience in will drafting and trust and estate administration, eight years at KKL Executor and Trustee Company. Keeps in close contact with clients to ensure all legal and pastoral needs are cared for. Member of Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.

JONATHAN WILLIAMS Qualifications: • Jewellery manufacturer since 1980s. • Expert in the manufacture and supply of diamond jewellery, wedding rings and general jewellery. • Specialist in supply of diamonds to the public at trade prices.

KKL EXECUTOR AND TRUSTEE COMPANY 0800 358 3587 www.kkl.org.uk wills@kkl.org.uk

JEWELLERY CAVE LTD 020 8446 8538 www.jewellerycave.co.uk jonathan@jewellerycave.co.uk

• •

PRIVATE HEALTHCARE SPECIALIST

DENTIST

DYSLEXIA PRACTITIONER SARAH BENARROCH Qualifications: • Director of Literacy Specialist Ltd, educational services for children with literacy difficulties and dyslexia. • MA in Specific Learning Difficulties (dyslexia), APC, British Dyslexia Association, PATOSS, 20 years’ experience in child education and development. • Full diagnostic assessments and reports for dyslexia. • Primary-age tuition in reading, writing and spelling.

LITERACY SPECIALIST LTD 07940 576 286 sarah@literacyspecialist.co.uk

ISRAELI LAWYER

TREVOR GEE Qualifications: • Managing director, consultants in affordable family and corporate health insurance. • Specialise in maximising cover, lowering premiums and pre-existing conditions. • Excellent knowledge of health insurers, cover levels and hospital lists. • Board member UK International Health Management Ass • LLB, solicitor finals, FCA Regulated 773729.

DR ADAM NEWMAN Qualifications: • Dentist at the Gingerbread House, a Bupa Platinum practice in Shenley, Radlett. • Regional Clinical Services Advisor for Bupa Dental Care UK. • Providing NHS and private dentistry, whitening, implants and cosmetic treatment. • Bachelor of Dental Surgery and Member of the Faculty of General Dental Practitioners RCS England. GDC registered 212542.

ELI ROSENBERG Qualifications: • All aspects of Israeli law. Specialising in property law, property tax, inheritance law and dispute management. • Third generation lawyer from Israeli firm established in Israel in 1975. • Authorised and regulated by the Israeli Bar Association and Ministry of Justice of the State of Israel, with teams in Tel Aviv and London.

PATIENT HEALTH 020 3146 3444/5/6 www.patienthealth.co.uk trevor.gee@patienthealth.co.uk

GINGERBREAD HOUSE 01923 852 852 www.gingerbreadhealth.co.uk Adam.newman@gingerbreadhealth.co.uk

ROSENBERG & ASSOCIATES 0203 994 2278 www.israeli-lawyer.co.uk eli@israeli-lawyer.co.uk

TELECOMS SPECIALIST

CHARITY EXECUTIVE

CHARITY EXECUTIVE

MAXI ROSE Qualifications: • MD at RCUK since 1999. Grown the business into three substantial UK branches serving clients worldwide – USA, Europe & Middle East. • Telecoms specialist in business & consumer mobile solutions, landline and broadband services and Ofcom Telecoms registered reseller. • Successfully established the RCUK International Travel

DR BEV JACOBSON Qualifications: • Able to draw on the expertise of Norwood’s professional staff team, including social workers, educational psychologists, behavioural specialists, speech and language and occupational therapists, teachers, psychologists, benefit advisors and psychotherapists. • Expertise in services available for children and their families and young people with special educational needs and adults with learning disabilities and autism.

SUE CIPIN Qualifications: • 18 years’ hands-on experience, leading JDA in significant growth and development. • Deep understanding of the impact of deafness on people at all stages of life, and their families. • Practical and emotional support for families of deaf children. • Extensive services for people affected by hearing loss/tinnitus.

RCUK 020 8815 4115 www.rcuk.com Maxi@RCUK.com

NORWOOD 020 8809 8809 www.norwood.org.uk bev.jacobson@norwood.org.uk

JEWISH DEAF ASSOCIATION 020 8446 0502 www.jdeaf.org.uk mail@jdeaf.org.uk

Got a question for a member of our team? Email: editorial@thejngroup.com

Thinking about ALIYAH? Contact the Jewish Agency for Israel certified by the Israeli government to facilitate Aliyah!

0-800-051-8227 | 020-8371-5250 | gci-en@jafi.org

TRAVEL AGENT

CRIMINAL DEFENCE SOLICITOR

DAVID SEGEL Qualifications: • Managing director of West End Travel, established in 1972. • Leading UK El Al agent with branches in Swiss Cottage and Edgware. • Specialist in Israel travel, cruises and kosher holidays. • Leading business travel company, ranked in top 50 UK agents. • Frequent travel broadcaster on radio and TV.

CARL WOOLF Qualifications: • 20+ years experience as a criminal defence solicitor and higher court advocate. • Specialising in all aspects of criminal law including murder, drug offences, fraud and money laundering, offences of violence, sexual offences and all aspects of road traffic law. • Visiting associate professor at Brunel University.

WEST END TRAVEL 020 7644 1500 www.westendtravel.co.uk David.Segel@westendtravel.co.uk

NOBLE SOLICITORS 01582 544 370 carl.woolf@noblesolicitors.co.uk

REMOVALS MANAGING DIRECTOR

PRINCIPAL, PERFORMING ARTS SCHOOL

STEPHEN MORRIS Qualifications: • Managing Director of Stephen Morris Shipping Ltd. • 45 years’ experience in shipping household and personal effects. • Chosen mover for four royal families and three UK prime ministers. • Offering proven quality specialist advice for moving anyone across the world or round the corner.

LOUISE LEACH Qualifications: • Professional choreographer qualified in dance, drama and Zumba (ZIN, ISTD & LAMDA), gaining an honours degree at Birmingham University. • Former contestant on ITV’s Popstars, reaching bootcamp with Myleene Klass, Suzanne Shaw and Kym Marsh. • Set up Dancing with Louise 10 years ago.

STEPHEN MORRIS SHIPPING LTD 020 8832 2222 www.shipsms.co.uk stephen@shipsms.co.uk

DANCING WITH LOUISE 020 8203 5242 www.dancingwithlouise.co.uk louise@dancingwithlouise.co.uk


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ACCOUNTANT ADAM SHELLEY Qualifications: • FCCA chartered certified accountant. • Accounting, taxation and business advisory services. • Entrepreneurial business specialist including start-up businesses. • Specialises in charities; Personal tax returns. • Maurice Wohl Charitable Foundation Volunteer of the Year JVN award.

SOBELL RHODES 020 8429 8800 www.sobellrhodes.co.uk a.shelley@sobellrhodes.co.uk

IT SPECIALIST

HEALTH & FITNESS ANNA SCHUCHMAN & CHARLOTTE WIKLER Qualifications: • Founders of aceLIFESTYLE, offering practical solutions for becoming and remaining fit, strong and healthy. • Creators of the aceTRANSFORMATION 12-week weight-loss program. • Level 3 Personal Trainers and Nutritional Consultants. • Qualified to help ante and postnatal clients, teenagers and those of all abilities and ages.

MAN ON A BIKE 020 8731 6171 www.manonabike.co.uk mail@manonabike.co.uk

ACELIFESTYLE 07968 484501 www.ace-lifestyle.com info@ace-lifestyle.com

INTERNATIONAL PAYMENTS SPECIALIST

IAN GREEN Qualifications: • Launched Man on a Bike IT consultancy 15 years ago to provide computer support for the home and small businesses. • Clients range from legal firms in the City to families, small business owners and synagogues. • More than 18 years’ experience.

SOCIAL WORKER

INSURANCE CONSULTANCY

NAOMI FELTHAM Qualifications: • Leading currency transfer provider since 1996 with over 500 expert employees. • Excellent exchange rates on your transfers to/from Israel. • Offices worldwide, with local support in Israel, the UK, mainland Europe and the USA. • Free expert guidance from your dedicated Account. Manager

CAROLYN COHEN Qualifications: • Supports couples dealing with infertility and reproductive health. • Strictly confidential helpline. • Specialist medical support and information. • Counselling for individuals and couples and educational events. • Expert medical advisory panel.

ASHLEY PRAGER Qualifications: • Professional insurance and reinsurance broker. Offering PI/D&O cover, marine and aviation, property owners, ATE insurance, home and contents, fine art, HNW. • Specialist in insurance and reinsurance disputes, utilising Insurance backed products. (Including non insurance business disputes). • Ensuring clients do not pay more than required.

CURRENCIES DIRECT 07922 131 152 / 020 7847 9447 www.currenciesdirect.com/jn Naomi.feltham@currenciesdirect.com

CHANA 020 8203 8455 Helpline: 020 8201 5774 / 020 8800 0018 www.chana.org.uk info@chana.org.uk

RISK RESOLUTIONS 020 3411 4050 www.risk-resolutions.com ashley.prager@risk-resolutions.com

ISRAELI ACCOUNTANT LEON HARRIS Qualifications: • Leon is an Israeli and UK accountant based in Ramat Gan, Israel.

• He is a Partner at Harris Horoviz Consulting & Tax Ltd. • The firm specializes in Israeli and international tax advice, accounting and tax reporting for investors, Olim and businesses.

PHOTOGRAPHER HARRISON GALGUT Qualifications: • Experienced wedding and event photographer. • Specialism in portraits and light management. • BSc(Hons), BTEC music tech, specialising in film, and member of Royal Photographic Society.

LISA WIMBORNE Qualifications: Able to draw on the charity’s 50 years of experience in enabling people with physical disabilities or impaired vision to live independently, including: • The provision of specialist accommodation with 24/7 on site support. • Knowledge of the innovations that empower people and the benefits available. • Understanding of the impact of a disability diagnosis.

EDIT6 07962599154 www.edit6.co.uk harrison@edit6.co.uk

JEWISH BLIND & DISABLED 020 8371 6611 www.jbd.org Lisa@jbd.org

• Leon’s motto is: Our numbers speak your language! HARRIS HOROVIZ CONSULTING & TAX LTD +972-3-6123153 / + 972-54-6449398 leon@h2cat.com

ALIYAH ADVISER

CAREER ADVISER

DOV NEWMARK Qualifications: • Director of UK Aliyah for Nefesh B’Nefesh, an organisation that helps facilitate aliyah from the UK. • Conducts monthly seminars and personal aliyah meetings in London. • An expert in working together with clients to help plan a successful aliyah.

CLAIRE STRAUS Qualifications: • Free professional one-to-one advice at Resource to help unemployed into work. • Practical support, workshops and networking opportunities to maximise prospects. • Career coach with MSc in career management and coaching with a background in human resources and general management and experience of private, public and voluntary sectors.

NEFESH B’NEFESH 0800 075 7200 www.nbn.org.il dov@nbn.org.il

RESOURCE 020 8346 4000 www.resource-centre.org office@resource-centre.org

DIVORCE & FAMILY SOLICITOR

CHARITY EXECUTIVE

PALLIATIVE CARE MANAGER

VANESSA LLOYD PLATT Qualifications: • Qualification: 40 years experience as a matrimonial and divorce solicitor and mediator, specialising in all aspects of family matrimonial law, including: • Divorce, Pre/post-nuptial agreements, cohabitation agreements, domestic violence, children’s cases, grandparents’ rights to see grandchildren, adoption, family disputes. • Frequent broadcaster on national and International radio and television.

POLLY LANDSBERG Qualifications: • Polly has worked in health and social care for over 35 years. • Has a degree in nursing and a diploma in health visiting. • Polly is responsible for the day-to-day management of the palliative and end of life care service.

LLOYD PLATT & COMPANY SOLICITORS 020 8343 2998 www.divorcesolicitors.com lloydplatt@divorcesolicitors.com

SWEETTREE HOME CARE SERVICES 020 7644 9500 www.sweettree.co.uk polly.landsberg@sweettree.co.uk

Got a question for a member of our team? Email: editorial@thejngroup.com

Edit 6 Photography

For all your photography needs! Email or call to book now for 2020/2021 T: 0796 2599154 E:harrison@edit6.co.uk


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Jewish News 27 January 2020

SEN Class Teacher for Gesher School Gesher is a unique Jewish Independent SEN Primary School that opened its doors in September 2017. Our cohort of children present with a range of Special Educational Needs, including language, communication and social pragmatic difficulties, and those associated with ADHD and specific learning difficulties. We also specialise in Autism Spectrum Challenges (ASC). Our curriculum is therapy based and we have a multi professional team approach to supporting the school. We are a dedicated and passionate team that are working towards providing an Outstanding SEN School.

An exciting opportunity has arisen for an outstanding and inspirational SEN teacher to join our team. Experience with Special Educational Needs would be advantageous. The candidate does not need to be of a Jewish Faith although, a respect the Ethos and Values of the school would be expected. We are looking for an exceptional candidate who: • Is an exemplary, outstanding SEN classroom practitioner and is able to work alongside a team of TA’s and therapists • has the ability to work as part of a forward looking strategic team • has a deep understanding of how children with special educational needs learn • is secure in their knowledge of differentiation of the National Curriculum • to accelerate pupil progress and raise attainment • is a proven, successful team player with excellent motivational and interpersonal skills In return we can offer: • to be part of a dynamic and forward thinking team of professionals who are passionate about SEN • to be part of a new, upcoming and outstanding school that will have links to the University of Cambridge and Professor Simon Baron Cohen • a supportive, warm and passionate team • access to Gesher’s staff well-being package

Application forms can be found on our website www.gesherschool.com Completed applications should be sent to admin@gesherschool.com

RCUK are recruiting! As part of our exciting growth plans for 2020, we are looking for additional staff members in different departments of our Manchester branch: Job Ref FTALF 2

1 team member to join our Telecoms Sales and Support Team Job Ref RTRCU 2

1 team member to join our Retail Team Both roles require good sales skills Prior experience within the role you are applying for would be advantageous Full training will be provided

Think you have what it takes? Send your CV to HR@rcuk.com. Quote the Job Ref and tell them where you saw this ad.

Deadline for applications: ongoing basis The appointment is subject to an enhanced DBS clearance. The school is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people.

Join the next cohort of the Ma’ayan Programme! The Ma’ayan Programme trains women as high-calibre Jewish educators and experts in the Jewish laws of family purity. Participating in the programme is an exciting opportunity to deepen your knowledge, develop your skills and be part of a cohort of role models who will have a tangible impact on the British Jewish community.

Applications are now open. The programme will run from September 2020 – April 2022. For more information and to apply go to: www.chiefrabbi.org/ maayanprogramme

Join Altermans Solicitors as a Consultant Over the last three years, six of us have joined Altermans as consultants – to work in property, company commercial, litigation, private client and family law. All of us have been partners elsewhere, and know the pain of running a team, hitting chargeable targets and driving revenue. However, each of us knew deep down that what we wanted to do was find somewhere where we could work for our clients in a friendly and supportive environment. We found it at Altermans in Finchley, North London. The firm is run by Gabriel Alterman, who is growing a business where lawyers can work on their own or build a small team that meets their needs. The firm is not a “virtual network”. We work together, talk together and respect each other’s expertise. We share fees, reward each other for referrals, and have regular gatherings – both social and work – to make sure we’re on track. If this sounds like a firm where you could find a niche and be at home, get in touch to arrange a chat and come and meet us. There’s no management-speak; just lawyers working together. You can contact Gabriel directly at gabriel@altermans.co.uk or by phone on 07794 085 617. Our website is at www.altermans.co.uk for more details of the firm.

Supported by The Bluston Charitable Foundation


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27 January 2020 Jewish News

Win kids luggage! / Fun, games and prizes

WIN A CARGOSEAT, THE NEW ULTIMATE CHILD BOOSTER SEAT! keeping children safe. We have put the CarGoSeat through rigorous crash and seatbelt positioning tests. The CarGoSeat complies with all UK and EU crash test requirements and meets ECE R44/04.  For more information, visit cargoseat.com READER OFFER: Jewish News readers can receive a £10 voucher and free delivery in the UK with code CarGoSeatJN10

TO BE IN WITH A CHANCE OF WINNING, ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTION: How much storage space does the CarGoSeat offer? A. 2 litres B. 10 litres C. 8 litres

THE JEWISH NEWS CROSSWORD THE JewishNews CROSSWORD 1

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ACROSS 1 Fix firmly (5) 4 Colour of milk (5) 7 Acquired, obtained (3) 8 Mental weariness (7)

All puzzles © Puzzler Media Ltd ‑ www.puzzler.com

SUDOKU SUDOKU

Pre‑1960s air pollution (4) Self‑satisfied (4) Sensory organ (3) Coaching houses (4) Force from a position of power (4) Distinctive (7) Domestic fuse unit (3) Open (5) Sediment that settles in drinks (5)

DOWN 1 Fringe (4) 2 Asphalt (7) 3 Torrent (6) 4 Of the moon, decrease in size (4) 5 Debt note (inits)(3) 6 Anger (6) 11 Error, incorrect act (7) 12 Shambles, debacle (6) 14 Turned over and over (6) 17 Become limp (4) 18 Hairy primates (4) 20 Adam’s mate (3) See next issue for puzzle solutions.

Fill the grid with the numbers 1 to 9 so that each row, column and 3x3 block contains the numbers 1 to 9.

7 2 6

8 6 8

1 4 6 5 7

3 7 6 9

9

8 3 2

2 1

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Last issue’s solutions Crossword

Sudoku

ACROSS: 1 Bobbed 4 Helm 8 Ore 9 Steamer 10 Ditty 11 Rocky 13 Steal 15 Miner 17 Rampart 19 Ivy 20 Waxy 21 Kennel DOWN: 1 Blood 2 Breathe 3 Essay 5 Elm 6 Marry 7 Gear 12 Consign 13 Screw 14 Lean 15 Mitre 16 Royal 18 Mix

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8 7 3 2 4 9 1 5 6

9 4 1 8 5 6 7 3 2

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27/01

COMPETITION TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

By Paul Solomons

Jewish News has teamed up with CarGoSeat to offer three lucky readers the chance to win a CarGoSeat, the ultimate child’s booster seat that converts to a funky pull-along suitcase in seconds! Brand new to market, CarGoSeat (rrp £54.99), which incorporates a 10-litre storage case, is available in four vibrant colours and is great for holidays and long trips, fitting into most overhead lockers and saving money on car seat hire cost when travelling abroad. They are also great for sleepovers and provide a great second seat for parents and grandparents, as well as keeping the car nice and tidy. CarGoSeat’s main priority is

Three winners will receive a CarGoSeat, worth £54.99. Prize is as stated, not transferable, not refundable and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or exchanged in whole or in part for cash. By supplying your email address, you agree to receive marketing information from the JN Media Group or any of its affiliates and carefully-selected third parties. The promotion excludes employees of Miroma and the promoter, their immediate families, their agents or anyone professionally connected to the relevant promotion. Proof of eligibility must be provided on request. For full Ts and Cs, see jewishnews.co.uk. Closing date: 13 February 2020


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Jewish News 27 January 2020

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JN Business Services Directory ANTIQUES 44

The Jewish News 22 September 2016

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Stirling of Kensal Green

Top prices paid

BUSINESS SERVICES DIRECTORY

Antique – Reproduction – Retro Furniture (any condition)

Carer

Clothing

WE BUY ANTIQUES Carer FURS WANTED Auxiliary Nurse VERY HIGH PRICES PAID. FREE HOME VISITS.

Epstein, Archie Shine, Hille, G Plan, etc. Antiques

Dining Suites, Lounges Suites, Bookcases, Desks, Cabinets, Mirrors, Lights, etc.

Cash paid for Mink Available support Allto Antique Furniture Hille & Epstein jackets, coats, you in your home. Diamond Jewellery, Gold, Silver,boleros, Paintings, stoles, Porcelain, also fox coats, etc. Glass,Days/nights. Bronzes, Ivories, Oriental & Judaica Antiques jackets etc. Very reasonable rates. Full house clearances organised. Wardrobes cleared Call Please 0208 look 958 at 2939 our website for more details Call 01277 352 560 or 07495 026 168

House clearances Single items to complete homes MARYLEBONE ANTIQUES - 8 CHURCH STREET NW8 8ED

WE BUY ANTIQUES

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VERY HIGH PRICES PAID. FREE HOME VISITS. All Antique Hille & Epstein 0207Furniture 723 7415 (SHOP) Diamond Jewellery, Gold, Silver, Paintings, Porcelain, closed Sunday & Monday Glass, Bronzes, Ivories, Oriental & Judaica Antiques etc.

Computer FOR APPOINTMENTS CALL SUE ON:

0800 840 2035 or 07956268290

STUART SHUSTER - e-mail - info@maryleboneantiques.co.uk

Man on aOPEN Bike8am will TOget 9pm 7 DAYS. you working fast! RD LONDON. PORTOBELLO

Full house clearances organised.

MAKE SURE CONTACT BEFORE SELLING Please look YOU at our websiteUS for more details www.antiquesbuyers.co.uk

Rapid Response IT support for your PC & Mac Networks, virus problems, broadband, wireless systems, new computers and everything else you may need. CHILDREN For small businesses & home users.

FOR APPOINTMENTS CALL SUE ON: CAR REPAIR 0800 840 2035 or 07956268290 OPEN 8am TO 9pm 7 DAYS.

Call Ian Green, Man on a Bike on

We have a community 020 8731 6171 • www.manonabike.co.uk nursery shop offering our customers top brands with a personal service. Charity & Welfare Present this ad for a 5% discount. and conditions apply.) (TermsBEREAVED? ARE YOU

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Best prices paid for complete house clearEpstein, Archie Shine, Hille, G Plan, etc. ances Lounges includingSuites, china, Bookcases, books, Dining Suites, clothing etc. Also rubbish clearance Desks, Cabinets, Mirrors, Lights, etc. service, lofts, sheds, garages etc House clearances Single items to complete Please contact Gordonhomes Stirling

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For further details andlist application forms, contact We have an open waiting for our friendly andplease comfortable on 020 8201 8484 wardenWestlon assisted Housing sheltered Association housing schemes for Jewish people in Ealing, East Finchley and Hendon. We provide 24-hour warden support, seven days a week; a residents’ lounge and kitchen, laundry, a sunny patio and garden.

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27 January 2020 Jewish News

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79

Business Services Directory COMPUTER

SILVER

CLOTHING

Man on a Bike will get you working fast!

FURS WANTED

Rapid Response IT support for your PC & Mac Networks, virus problems, broadband, wireless systems, new computers and everything else you may need. For small businesses & home users.

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WASTE REMOVAL


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