JERRY SPRINGER has thanked the “amazing efforts of so many” who helped rescue thousands of Jewish refugees from Germany before the outbreak of the Second World War – including his own parents, writes Francine Wolfisz.
The 72-year-old presenter made the comments to coincide with this week’s launch of World Jewish Relief (WJR) archives project, which has digitised and made publicly available the personal records of more than 40,000 refugees for the first time.
The records include the case files of the 10,000 children who came to Britain on the Kindertransport in 1938 and 1939 and those belonging to ‘The Boys’ – the 732 Jewish orphans, boys and girls who arrived after the war – under the auspices of the Central British Fund, known today as the WJR.
Springer said he was “blown away” after receiving the documents relating to his parents, Margot and Richard Springer, who arrived in England from Germany in 1939. They were saved, unlike 27 other family members who were subsequently murdered by the Nazis.
The political pundit, who was born in 1944 in Highgate Tube station during an air raid, said: “These documents just blew me away. They showed that my parents got out just four weeks before the war started and based on the number at the top of their document, they were among the last 100 Jews to leave Germany.
“There was a name written on the card of their sponsor, someone called Goldberg. They didn’t know this person – they were probably just a member of the agency signing these to get as many Jews out as possible – but basically these people saved my parents’ lives and my sister, who was born a month later. Without them, I wouldn’t have been born either. These people reached out to us – even though they didn’t know who we were.”
Springer added the documents are not “just a matter of curiosity” but are essential to continuing Holocaust education. He said: “Jews carry more of a responsibility than anyone else because we were at the receiving end – to teach the world never to discriminate.”
To find out more go online to: worldjewishrelief.org/archives