AJR unveils commemorative plaque at British Embassy in Vienna

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

AJR unveils commemorative plaque at British Embassy in Vienna

Association of Jewish Refugees honours "resourceful and courageous" diplomatic officials and clergy who helped thousands of Jews emigrate and escape Nazis in Germany and Austria

Wolfgang-Sobotka-and-Lord-Eric-Pickles-at-AJR-plaque-unveiling-British-Embassy-Vienna. Pic: AJR
Wolfgang-Sobotka-and-Lord-Eric-Pickles-at-AJR-plaque-unveiling-British-Embassy-Vienna. Pic: AJR

A commemorative blue plaque has been unveiled at the British Embassy in Vienna by the Association of Jewish Refugees.

AJR is the leading national charity exclusively delivering social, welfare and volunteer services to Jewish victims of Nazi oppression living in the UK.

Dedicated to, and in memory of consular officials and clergy who courageously helped many thousands of Jews escape Austria following the Anschluss (annexation) of March 1938, it is the sixteenth plaque in AJR’s commemorative scheme and only the second to be unveiled outside of the UK.

It will be a sister plaque to the one at the British embassy in Berlin that was unveiled by the organisation in May 2020.

Mike-Karp-AJR-Chairman-speak-at-Blue-plaque-unveiling-at-British-Embassy-Vienna. Pic: AJR

From Adolf Hitler’s assumption of power in January 1933 until the outbreak of World War II in September 1939, staff at the British Embassy and consulate in Berlin, and then in Vienna, saved tens of thousands of Jewish lives by covertly expediting their emigration, with many of them coming directly to Britain.

Attending the unveiling were Her Excellency Lindsay Skoll CMG, (Order of St Michael and St George), British ambassador to Austria, herself the grand-daughter of a German Kind, (Kindertransport refugee) alongside Wolfgang Sobotka, President of the Austrian national council, the UK special envoy for Holocaust issues Lord Pickles, Reverend Canon Patrick Curran, Vienna’s Chief Rabbi Schlomo Hofmeister and Association of Jewish Refugees chairman Mike Karp, whose mother came to Britain on a Kindertransport.

Renowned journalist Hella Pick, forced to flee Austria by the Nazi regime and who came to the UK on a Kindertransport, attended the plaque unveiling and said it was “deeply moving” to be “standing here at the British Embassy, in Vienna, 85-years since the Nazis tore my world apart.”

Wolfgang-Sobotka-Her-Excellency-Lindsay-Skoll-CMG-Lord-Eric-Pickles-Mike-Karp. Pic: AJR

Pick said: “It was within these walls – through the resourceful and courageous actions of Embassy diplomats, that so many Austrian Jews were given the chance to make a new life in Great Britain. So today, together with The Association of Jewish Refugees and the Austrian Embassy, we are deeply proud to recognise their singularly brave actions in saving tens of thousands of lives.”

AJR chairman Mike Karp said: “It is our great hope that as well as fascinating passers-by, the plaque will help form a tangible link in the story of the refugees’ escape from Nazism and the sanctuary they received in Britain.”

Wolfgang Sobotka, President of the Austrian national council said: “The story we remember with this plaque shows a great example of how people resisted and demonstrated courage and compassion despite danger. The Holocaust was one of the darkest chapters in human history, where millions of innocent lives were taken due to discrimination and hatred. It is necessary to remember the history in order to learn from our past and ensure that it can never happen again. It is our responsibility to fight against antisemitism in all its forms since it is still a growing issue and endangers our democratic values.”

The Rt Hon Lord Eric Pickles, the UK special envoy for post-Holocaust issues said: “As we prepare to commemorate the 85th anniversary of the Anschluss of Austria to Nazi-Germany and the horrors that followed for Jewish people in Austria, I am proud to unveil an Association of Jewish Refugees plaque, at the British Embassy in Vienna.

“The plaque marks the courage of diplomats and consular officials at the British Embassy in Vienna and Anglican Reverends, who worked together in defiance of their instructions and in danger to their own lives to provide travel documents and baptisms for Jews desperate to cross borders to safety.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: