A plaque was unveiled in memory of philanthropist Otto Schiff at the Hampstead property he bequeathed as a care home for victims of the Nazis.
The mansion at 14 Netherhall Gardens was originally to have been his family home but became the offices where he worked tirelessly as head of the Jewish Refugees Committee he established in 1933 to house and support those seeking asylum from occupied Europe.
The property was operated as an independent care home known as Otto Schiff House after his death until it was incorporated into Jewish Care in 2010 and later relocated to Golders Green. With the financial support of property investment firm Cogress, developer Godfrey London has now restored the building to its original purpose of residency by transforming the care home into seven luxury apartments. Otto Schiff Mansions, a neighbouring new-build development on the property’s vast grounds, has also been constructed.
The unveiling of the plaque in the building’s foyer was attended by Schiff’s nephew Hugh Sassoon and great niece Julia Shelley. Also present were Wiener Library trustee David Rauch, Rafi Cooper of World Jewish Relief, Association of Jewish Refugees chief executive Michael Newman and the leaders of Cogress and Godfrey London.
Cooper said: “Otto Schiff was an extraordinary advocate for Jewish refugees; without his drive and vision, our organisation would not exist today, let alone be helping refugees who have fled war and persecution. This plaque is an important recognition of the countless people who are alive today because of his determination”.
Newman added: “Otto Schiff and the home he founded are synonymous with the Jewish refugees who fled Nazi oppression; the plaque dedicated to his memory will stand in perpetuity in celebration of his visionary humanitarian work ”.