Holocaust foundation From the Depths this week launched its free car service for elderly Righteous Among The Nations in Poland, sending two London taxis to the country.
The two taxis, media sponsored by Holocaust Survivor Edward Mosberg and emblazoned with the symbol of Chelsea Football Club – a major sponsor of the charity – and From the Depths’ “Silent Hero” logo, set off for Poland after the launch in Houses of Parliament in London, England on December 12, 2018.
From the Depths founder, British-born Jonny Daniels said in his remarks in Parliament: “This is to honour the non-Jews who stood up to save our Jewish brothers and sisters. It was an epic task that was often led to people giving their lives to help Jews.”
Daniels said that it was significant that the launch event happened after the eighth Chanukah candle was lit. “The light connects us directly to the Righteous Among The Nations. Their stories symbolise the light of hope in a time of darkness.”
After visiting a small town in Poland where he was shown a house where Jews had been hidden and when the owner and most of the family had been murdered for their courage, Daniels said: “It was then that I took it upon myself – and turned into the main mission of my foundation – that we as the third and fourth generation after the Holocaust, as millennial, as younger people, must stand and do something to honour and remember both the survivors, those murdered, but also the saviours.”
Conservative MP Daniel Kawczynski, who hosted the event, recalled how members of own family in war-time Poland had helped Jews hide from the Nazis.
“When I went back to Poland for the first time in 1983… I sat with my aunt who recounted the story of how the brother of my grandfather hid Jewish friends and neighbours on his estate,” Kawczynski said.
“One day he was returning and his neighbours stopped and told him not to go back because the Germans had surrounded his farm. He said he had to go back because his wife and daughter were there.
“When he got home, the Germans made him take off his Polish officer’s boots, they made him dig a grave and they made him watch as they shot his 12-year-old daughter, then his wife. Then they shot him, and his only crime was protecting his Jewish friends and neighbours.”
Poland, he added, was the only Nazi-occupied country where helping Jews was punishable by death.