Sur­vivor is sad­dened by refugee cri­sis re­sponse

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY JOSH JACK­MAN

RUDI OP­PEN­HEIMER, who spent 15 months in Ber­gen-Belsen, has warned teenagers that the world “has not learned a thing yet” about the im­por­tance of of­fer­ing a home to en­dan­gered refugees.

The tes­ti­mony of Mr Op­pen­heimer to pupils of Pim­lico Academy in West­min­ster was live-streamed to more than 200 schools on Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

Stu­dents from Eng­land, Scot­land and as far afield as Swe­den sent ques­tions to the sur­vivor, whose fam­ily fled Ber­lin for Hol­land in 1936, only to be cap­tured and trans­ported to Wester­bork tran­sit camp in 1943.

Mr Op­pen­heimer, 84, said the HMD Q&A was the 1,596th time he had ad­dressed a school group. Com­par­ing the cur­rent refugees to the Jews who tried to es­cape Nazi atroc­i­ties, he pointed out: “We have prob­lems in Dar­fur, Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, you name them. There are plenty of peo­ple who want to leave their coun­try and can leave their coun­try but no one wants them.”

He re­called that while grow­ing up, “I didn’t know that the Nazis didn’t like lit­tle Jewish boys such as me be­cause my mother didn’t tell me. I con­sid­ered

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