A leading Holocaust charity has suspended all its overseas educational projects until the end of March.
The move comes in wake of a global pandemic which has spread to more than 100 countries, and has led to the Polish government closing all museums – including the Auschwitz Memorial.
The Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) said on Thursday, it has “suspended all our overseas educational projects, Lessons from Auschwitz and Belsen 75” until the end of the month.
“We are today suspending all planned gatherings, including seminars due to take place, effective immediately until the end of March when we will review.
While outlining there was no “specific risks related to our overseas projects” nor suspected or confirmed cases of the infection amongst its participants, staff or volunteers, HET the action is being taken as “a precautionary measure”.
‘Lessons from Auschwitz’ was among the activities cancelled “to ensure the safety and well-being of our participants”, which includes Holocaust survivors. The project will remain under review while the Coronavirus infection remains a risk.
The charity has also suspended its Trust’s Outreach Programme “in line with steps we are taking as extra precautions to protect our beloved Holocaust survivors”.
This comes after the cancellation of the March of the Living in Poland, with organisers citing the risk posed by the virus to participants, including survivors. The Association of Association of Jewish Ex-Service Men and Women’s also pulled its planned trip to Bergen-Belsen, to mark the 75th anniversary of its liberation by the British Army.