Holocaust heroes honoured with plaques at Golders Green cemetery

More than 100 people attended the plaque-unveiling, including the Israeli and Polish ambassadors


Twelve rescuers from across the world who helped to save Jews from the Nazis were honoured with plaques at a North West London cemetery.

Rabbi Solomon Schonfeld and a Danish king were among those at a ceremony at Hoop Lane Cemetery in Golders Green. The plaques were unveiled on a previously blank wall, which faces visitors as they enter the burial ground.

More than 100 people attended, including the Israeli and Polish ambassadors to the UK, as well as television star Robert Rinder and the MP for Richmond Park, Zac Goldsmith.

Attendees heard the stories of the individual contributions of each of the people honoured, read by historian Robert Lacey.

Earlier Rabbi Julia Neuberger, Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg and Rabbi Jeff Berger led a service in the prayer hall, before Mr Rinder read two poems by Jerzy Ficowski.

A delegation from London’s Chinese community was also in attendance, on behalf of Ho Feng Shan who, as the Chinese consul in Vienna, issued visas to an estimated 3,000 Jews.

Mr Lacey said that he suffered ruinous consequences for his heroics; he was dismissed from his post and lost his pension.

King Christian X, who ruled Denmark between 1912 and 1947, was honoured for his strong defence of his country's Jewish community during the Nazi occupation during the Second World War.

Lili Stern-Pohlmann, who was transported from Poland to the UK as a 14-year-old by Rabbi Schonfeld, told the JC that it was “very emotional” to see her saviours honoured.

Also honoured were German civil servant Irmgard Wieth, and Archbishop Andrey Count Sheptycky, who both helped Stern-Pohlmann and her mother, Cecylia, escape in 1946.

Mrs Stern-Pohlmann said: “Medals go into a drawer and get forgotten. I wanted something visible – so people know there were good people around in such unhuman times.

“It’s all I wanted – to have these hung up and to say thank you and farewell. And in the meantime it became a big event, with ambassadors and important people. I never thought it would happen in a million years.”

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