Schoolchildren have met a Holocaust survivor at the Polish embassy to celebrate the establishment of a new charity.
Lili Pohlmann grew up in Krakow, and was saved by a German woman and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.
She is now honorary president of the new charity, Learning from the Righteous, which uses workshops and learning to encourage children to reflect on the heroism of those who sheltered Jews during the Holocaust.
More than 40 children aged 10 to 13, from London’s Jewish and Polish schools, presented a short essay or poem on the topic to parents and teachers.
The educational initiative turned charity was praised by Sir Eric Pickles, the UK special envoy for post-Holocaust issues, who attended the event.
He said: “Poland suffered more than any other country in the Second World War, and the Polish government has made a tremendous effort throughout the years to preserve the memory of the Holocaust.
“Projects such as Learning from the Righteous, which both recognise the heroism of the people that saved lives and set these stories in the painful context of human brutality and indifference, can make a real mark on today’s world.”
This year, more than 400 children participated in the charity’s workshops, which culminated in the project-sharing event.
Writing on its website, Jakub Szpaczynski, 13, said: “One act of love can combat a thousand acts of hate. We can’t change the way the stars and the planets behave, but we can change this world through the way we behave.”
Charity director Antony Lishak said: “Over the past 35 years I have been involved in countless projects, but none has meant more to me than Learning from the Righteous.
“Everyone is very rightly committed to the ideal of ‘never again’, yet often the subject of the Righteous lurks in the shadows.
“It is mine and the embassy’s hope that now we are established as a registered charity, that we can teach more children about this sensitive and hugely important field of education.”
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