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Sunday, 7 October 2012

British holocaust heroes recognised

  • Published: Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Britons who saved the lives of Jews and other persecuted groups during the Holocaust have been honoured for their actions with a new award.

British Hero of the Holocaust award

The British Hero of the Holocaust award is the first time individuals have been recognised by the state for their contribution in saving lives during the Holocaust.

The award, similar to a state honour, has been presented to 27 people, many of whom have now died.

Those named a British Hero of the Holocaust include:

  • June Ravenhall, a British housewife living in Holland who sheltered a young Jewish man even after her husband had been taken to a concentration camp
  • Jane Haining from Dunscore in Scotland, who was sent to Auschwitz after caring for 400 Jewish girls in occupied Hungary
  • Bertha Bracey, a Quaker woman, who lobbied the British government during the 1930s to accept persecuted Jewish refugees - her efforts established the Kindertransport which took an estimated 10,000 mainly Jewish children from mainland Europe to Britain

Each of the 27 people, or their families, was presented with a silver medallion inscribed with the words 'In the Service of Humanity'.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: "These individuals are true British heroes and a source of national pride for all of us. They were shining beacons of hope in the midst of terrible evil because they were prepared to take a stand against prejudice, hatred and intolerance. We pay tribute to them for the inspiration they provide now and for future generations to come."

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