Stars and author launch book about Holocaust survivor who was ignored by the world
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here
News

Stars and author launch book about Holocaust survivor who was ignored by the world

Journalist Jonathan Freedland's The Escape Artist is a biography of Slovak biochemist Rudolf Vrba, who escaped a concentration camp and tried to alert the world - but was ignored

Jonathan Freedland signs copies of The Escape Artist, about Rudolf Vrbo
Jonathan Freedland signs copies of The Escape Artist, about Rudolf Vrbo

TV stars and the author helped to launch a book about a concentration camp escapee who tried to tell the world about the Holocaust – and was virtually ignored.

Radio 4 host and Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland was interviewed by the BBC’s former politics editor Nick Robinson about The Escape Artist, a biography of Slovak biochemist Rudolf Vrba, due to be published tomorrow, June 9.

Among the hundred of supporters of the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET), which hosted the launch, were Robert Rinder – aka Judge Rinder – Emmerdale star Louisa Clein and EastEnders’ Tracy Ann Oberman.

There were also donors, Parliamentarians, Holocaust survivors and the trust’s young ambassadors.

Freedland told how Vrba escaped from Auschwitz in 1944, and attempted to tell the world what was happening to the Jews of Europe. Vrba believed that if people were informed, they would act. But he met with disappointment and incomprehension from world and community leaders.

Tracy Ann Oberman, left, and Robert Rinder, centre

This chimes with the HET key mission, to, honour survivor testimony and ensure that everyone, everywhere knows the dark history of the Holocaust.

Freedland also spoke of the role of truth in a post-truth world, the inability of humanity to understand the danger facing it, and the complex figure of Rudolf Vrba.

HET chief executive Karen Pollock said: “We were delighted to host the highly esteemed author and commentator, Jonathan Freedland, in conversation with BBC stalwart, Nick Robinson to celebrate the launch of Jonathan’s new book.

“Rudolf Vrba’s unique testimony stands a monument to inertia and ignorance – a warning that still reverberates today.

“It is our hope that all can learn about the history of the Holocaust, through formal lessons in the classroom, and informally through valuable texts such as ‘The Escape Artist’.

“We are hugely grateful to Jonathan and Nick, and honoured that a portion of the proceeds of this remarkable book will go to the Holocaust Educational Trust.”

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.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

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...

Engaging

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.

Celebrating

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.

Pioneering

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.

Campaigning

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:
comments