Jewish Peer Who Fled Nazi Occupied Austria Funding Rescue of 2,000 Christians
By Space Coast Daily // July 16, 2015
'a debt to repay'
A Jewish peer who fled occupied Austria as a child is funding the rescue of up to 2,000 Christians from Syria and Iraq as a way of showing his gratitude to the religion whose members saved him from the Nazis.
Lord George Weidenfeld says he has “a debt to repay” to Christians fleeing Isis, because the Quakers and the Plymouth Brethren fed and clothed him and helped him to reach Britain in 1938.
The publisher is spearheading Weidenfeld Safe Havens Fund, which last week supported the flight of 150 Syrian Christians to Poland on a privately chartered plane to allow them to seek refuge, making them the first beneficiaries of the resettlement project.
Having arrived in Britain on a train a year before the start of the Second World War with just a few shillings to his name, Lord Weidenfeld went on to establish the Weidenfeld and Nicolson publishing business a decade later. He was made a life peer in 1976.
The 95-year-old told The Times: “I had a debt to repay. It applies to so many young people who were on the Kinderstransports. It was Quakers and other Christian denominations who brought those children to England.
“It was very high-minded operation and we Jews should also be thankful and do something for the endangered Christians.”
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