During a week when Viennese-born publisher George Lord Weidenfeld is reported to be funding the rescue of about 2,000 Christians from Syria and Iraq as a way of belated thanks to their co-religionists who saved him from the Nazis, a fellow Holocaust survivor has remembered the Polish-Catholic nanny who saved him.
Abraham Foxman, retiring National Director of the US-based Anti-Defamation League, says:
“I came to the ADL exactly 50 years ago, fresh out of law school and fuelled with passion to fight for the safety and security of the Jewish people.
“As a child of the Holocaust who was hidden by my Polish-Catholic nanny and then miraculously reunited with my parents, I chose a mission to ensure that what happened during World War II would never happen again. The experiences of my childhood coupled with the lessons my parents taught me inspired a lifelong commitment to fighting antisemitism and all forms of bigotry and oppression …
“The capacity for ADL to be effective in capitals throughout the world, as we are today, is a major gain for the security of Jews everywhere. Last summer, for example, after a shocking and sustained upsurge of antisemitic violence in Europe, ADL called upon world leaders to speak out and stand up for their Jewish communities—and they did.
“And while it was always the ADL’s mission to fight bigotry of all kinds, over the past few decades we have put even more emphasis on reaching out to others—Hispanics, African Americans, Muslims—who are also the targets of prejudice and discrimination …
“More must be done to address the resurgence of global antisemitism. We cannot have Jews once again become scapegoats for failing economies, nor can we allow the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians to be used as an excuse for antisemitism. ADL’s voice and credibility are absolutely critical in this arena”.
© Natalie Wood (17 July 2015)