Kindertransport refugee and teacher awarded honorary doctorate

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Kindertransport refugee and teacher awarded honorary doctorate

Vera Schaufeld, who established the Holocaust Centre and Museum, receives honour from University of Roehampton

Dr Christopher Stephens, Head of Southlands College, Vera Schaufeld and, Professor Jean-Noël Ezingeard, Vice Chancellor of the University of Roehampton
Dr Christopher Stephens, Head of Southlands College, Vera Schaufeld and, Professor Jean-Noël Ezingeard, Vice Chancellor of the University of Roehampton

A London university has awarded an honorary doctorate to a former Brent teacher who came to the UK on the Kindertransport and later established the Holocaust Centre and Museum.

At a Festival Hall ceremony on Monday, the University of Roehampton recognised Vera Schaufeld MBE, who was brought to England in 1939 in the famous rescue effort organised by the late British humanitarian Sir Nicholas Winton.

“Vera is a truly inspirational person, whose suffering created in her a drive to support others,” said Professor Jean-Noël Ezingeard, the University’s Vice-Chancellor.

“She has dedicated her life to upholding those values which our institution holds most dear and to combatting those actions and attitudes which we most abhor. We are honoured to call her a member of Southlands College and an honorary graduate of the University.”

Born in Prague in 1930, Vera joined Southlands College in 1948, having learnt that every single member of her family had died in the concentration camps. The college was then the Methodist College of Education, now part of the University.

Vera with Professor Jean-Noël Ezingeard,

She trained to be a teacher, moved to Israel, lived on a kibbutz, met her husband Avram, who was also Holocaust survivor, and together they moved back to London, where she taught English recently arrived Asian immigrants, a role that resonated.

She helped establish the Holocaust Centre and Museum in London, developing its learning programme and advising how children could be encouraged to empathise with the experiences of those who had been affected by the Nazi regime.

Now a grandmother, she received an MBE for services to Holocaust education earlier this year.

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