Seven survivors of the Holocaust are honoured in this year’s New Year’s Honours List for their services to Holocaust education.
Cirla Lewis and Vera Schaufeld— the latter of whom was saved by Sir Nicholas Winton and brought to Britain on the Kindertransport — have been awarded MBEs.
Those awarded the BEM, or Medallist of the British Empire, are Helen Aronson, Tauba Biber, Steven Frank and Eva Clarke, who was born in the Mauthausen concentration camp in April 1945, just before the end of the Second World War. All seven spend time speaking in schools and communities across the country about their Holocaust experiences.
Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Vera Schaufeld, Cirla Lewis, Tauba Bieber, Steven Frank, Eva Clarke, Joanna Millan and Helen Aronson have all been honoured for their tireless efforts to ensure that future generations learn the lessons of the past and that the victims of the Holocaust are remembered. Through sharing their testimonies, they have given a human face to history, enhancing Holocaust education and showing where hate can lead. They have had an inspirational impact on thousands of young peoples’ lives. These honours are very much deserved.”
William Comet, a close family friend of Tauba Bieber, said: “I have known Tauba for about 45 years and sat at her seder table every year for perhaps 20 years. She was a wonderful friend to my late parents – fellow Holocaust survivors – after they all settled in the UK as refugees.”
Heading the list from the Jewish community is the newly-knighted Professor David Klenerman, Fellow of the Royal Society and a research professor at Cambridge. Professor Klenerman, son of two South African-born Jews, is the co-inventor, with Professor Sir Shankar Balasubramian, of Next Generation DNA sequencing, thought to be one of the most significant advances in biology and medicine in recent decades.
From the world of entertainment, acclaimed magician and mentalist David Berglas gets an MBE for services to magic and psychology. The 92-year-old from Barnet said: “I am delighted to accept this honour but even more pleased that the art of magic has at last been recognised. I have spent over 60 years entertaining people in person, on radio and television – ‘reading their minds’ – but I certainly didn’t see this one coming.”
Actress Sophie Okonedo receives a CBE for her services to drama.
David Dein, the former vice-chair of Arsenal and the FA, is made MBE for his services to football and his motivational work in schools and prisons.
Former Olympic fencer Peter Jacobs also receives an MBE for his services to the sport.
Hilary Craft, of Manchester, is honoured with an OBE for her work in supporting cancer research, while Rabbi Warren Elf gains an MBE for his services to the community in Manchester, where he is the community development officer for the city’s Faith Network.
Cardiff-based Stanley Soffa receives the BEM for his work in combatting antisemitism and in service to community cohesion and the Jewish community in Cardiff.
Alan Levinealso garners a BEM as chair of welfare for AJEX, formerly the Association of Jewish Ex-|Servicemen and Women and today known as the Jewish Military Association UK.
Samantha Perahia from the British Film Commission receives an MBE for her services to the film and television industries.
Malcolm Margolis of Harrogate receives the BEM for his services to cycling.