A group of 22 cyclists have smashed their £5,000 fundraising target for Holocaust education programming at JW3 by riding from Prague to Auschwitz.
The ride was led by Dan Landon, who lives outside London, and incorporated the sites of four concentration camps in which his relative, Michael Rehfisch, was held during the Holocaust.
Rehfisch, who passed away a few years ago, was 14 when he was captured, imprisoned and tortured by the Nazis, before being sent starving on forces marches between camps, including Therienstadt, Gleiwitz 1, Blechhammer and Auschwitz.
It was at Blechhammer that Reyfisch and friends hid in a cesspit as the Nazis moved the prisoners on. Once they’d left the camp the friends emerged and sought to find food, at which point the Nazis returned, spraying the camp with bullets, injuring Reyfisch. Still, he managed to escape, and was later picked up by Russian troops.
Landon’s tribute to his relative, which had raised £5,600 by Tuesday lunchtime, will enable Jewish community centre JW3 to continue its Holocaust Enrichment programme, which helps elderly Holocaust survivors and refugees meet in a culturally-specific environment and enjoy a range of activities, hearing from speakers and meeting younger generations.
JW3 chair Marc Nohr said he was “beyond delighted with what Daniel and his friends have achieved, not only to raise awareness of this story but to raise money to help keep the memory of it alive”.
He added: “JW3 are incredibly grateful for the donation, and will use it to continue providing vital Holocaust Education throughout the community.”
You can still donate to the fundraising drive here.