Game of Thrones star reveals she was target of friends’ antisemitic abuse

The Jewish actress was mocked on Whatsapp over grandmothers' Shoah survival story



Game of Thrones star Laura Pradelska has revealed she became the target of an antisemitic hate campaign organised by her friends after she spoke publicly about her grandmothers surviving the Holocaust.

The Jewish actress, who was born in Germany and lived there until she was 17, said she was the subject of a WhatsApp group set up to mock her appearance and her family.

She told the JC: “More shockingly this group questioned my grandparents’ history, along with the work I do for it.

“It was a form of antisemitism that I had never experienced and was carried out by people I know and was shown to me by a mutual friend.”

She said being shown messages that cast doubt on the authenticity of her grandmothers’ stories of survival was “the most shocking thing I have experienced in the past decade”.

Ms Pradelska, who was speaking at the Holocaust Educational Trust’s annual ambassador's conference in London today, said when she confronted her tormentors their responses “confused her”.

“I think they wanted to be horrible and saw me as an easy target. Their apologies came with things like, ‘oh well I have Jewish family’ or ‘some of my best friends are Jewish’.

“But I don’t care, it makes it no better.”

Ms Pradelska's paternal grandmother, Clara, was originally sent to the Nowy Sacz ghetto along with her husband. She had a son there, who was murdered by the Nazis aged just eight months old.

The actress said the experience had made her “more determined to make it my life mission to tell their story.

“We can only improve in the future if we acknowledge the past,” she said.

She told the conference that Clara was later transported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, and her husband, siblings and parents did not survive the Holocaust.

Clara remarried a fellow Holocaust survivor, who was Ms Pradelska's grandfather.

The actress said she had to wait for the right time to share her family’s story.

“It is always weird for an actor to become involved in something that isn’t a sexy issue and this isn’t glamorous, but that is not going to stop me.

“I have always known where I come from as a Jewish girl born in Germany, but it is only very recently that I have started to look deeper and the work I am involved in is very new to me.

“I needed to have a platform because of my work on TV. I have that platform now and I will use it to speak out.”

The actress also admitted she finds “thinly veiled attacks on Jews in relation to Israel” difficult when she comes across them on social media.

“I consider Israel my home even though I was not born there,” she said. “Israel to me, is like my mum. I get to criticise it, but you don’t.

“It is the conversations that I have heard over the last few years about Jews controlling the world, or the media that I can’t take. I always challenge them.”

Ms Pradelska's other grandmother, Esther, was able to obtain forged transit papers due to her blond hair, blue eyes and ability to speak Polish without the trace of a Yiddish accent.

She managed to save her two young nieces, Naomi and Eva, who were just two years old, and adopted them after the war.

Ms Pradelska said taking part in the conference for young people from across the UK was the “best Monday morning I have had.

“For young people to travel all this way from as far as Cardiff to learn, not as a Jewish student, but as a Muslim or Christian, is amazing.

“It was so moving that they would take the time as 17-year-olds to hear my grandparents’ story.

“It gives me so much hope. As Anne Frank said, ‘there is so much beauty in the world’.”

Mr Pradelska played the role of Quaithe in the wildly successful HBO series and also works as a DJ.

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