Left Menu
Development News Edition

How India contributed to protection of Jews during Holocaust


How India contributed to protection of Jews during Holocaust
India's Permanent Mission to the UN co-hosted with B'nai B'rith International a special event 'India: A Distant Haven during the Holocaust'.

Poignant tales of compassion of Jews finding refuge in India in the midst of the horror of the Holocaust were recounted as the UN commemorated the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27 commemorates the tragedy of the Holocaust that occurred during the Second World War. It commemorates the genocide that resulted in the death of an estimated 6 million Jews.

India's Permanent Mission to the UN co-hosted with B'nai B'rith International a special event 'India: A Distant Haven during the Holocaust' here Monday as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres voiced concern over the centuries-old hatred being "not only still strong", but also "getting worse". India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin said the commemoration was an opportunity to recount the moving tales of compassion amid the tragedies of the Holocaust, and to promote the civilisational values that are key to preventing such crimes against humanity from occurring ever again.

He told the gathering that there were numerous stories of solace offered in India to those escaping troubling times in Europe. He recounted the legendary story of the Maharaja of Nawanagar, who against all odds, took personal responsibility to provide the home to around one thousand Polish children.

They travelled all the way to Gujarat in India to escape the ravages of the World War II in their homeland. During the ensuing panel discussion, noted scholar, author and archivist Kenneth Robbins shared how some of the Jewish faith found refuge in India in the midst of horror and gloom of the Holocaust.

Stephen Tauber, a Holocaust survivor whose family fled from Austria to India, also shared his family's stories. "While the world was at war, India was engaged in its own struggle for freedom from colonial rule. Yet, even during these difficult times, the people of India welcomed visitors from overseas who were escaping uncertainties in their homelands," Akbaruddin said.

He noted that the link between India and people of Jewish faith went back thousands of years in history when the first Jews landed on India's south-western coast nearly two thousand years ago and over the decades have greatly contributed in the fields of entrepreneurship, art, architecture and culture. Akbaruddin pointed out that India had rarely witnessed anti-semitism except during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks when Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists killed 16s people including six persons at the Chabad House in Mumbai.

"As we mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Genocide Convention this year, we watch with concern that globally the forces of anti-semitism, racial and religious intolerance and xenophobia are posing new challenges to global values," he said. "Examples of compassion and solidarity serve as beacons of hope and inspiration in troubled times. Stories of those who have witnessed horror in unimaginable ways and have triumphed, help in building across borders and generations, confidence and solidarity for the cherished values of pluralism and peaceful co-existence," he added.

During the panel discussion, Robbins spoke about minorities' contribution to Indian society, and India's history of religious tolerance. He also outlined the movement of Jews to India during different periods of history.

Tauber recalled a more personal story of his own family that had left Vienna and travelled to India on an Italian ship. His family worked to maintain its Jewish traditions in a tiny community. In 1941, the family settled permanently in the United States. "Ken is a font of knowledge about India, and particularly the intersections between Indians and Jews...Ken's work epitomises the phrase 'labor of love', " B'nai B'rith International CEO Daniel Mariaschin said.

Mariaschin thanked Tauber for sharing his story, noting "that you and your family were fortunate to find rescue in India and ultimately a new life here in the United States". President of B'nai B'rith International, oldest Jewish service organization in the world, Charles Kaufman emphasised the UN's role in fighting hatred and violence.

(With inputs from agencies.)


TRENDING

OPINION/BLOG/INTERVIEW

What happens to your outstanding loans if the bank falls?

... ...

Time for a change! Innovations to stop the growing plastic pollution

As the planet is drowning in plastic pollution, many new innovative approaches and solutions have emerged to effectively deal with the menace....

How to avoid fake universities and fishing bait like Farmington

As education sharks are roaming around to prey, we present a guide on how to mitigate hunters and reach to a genuine universityinstitute. In this era of commercialization of education, the fake universities and economic frauds in educationa...

How India is being pushed towards commercialization of higher education

The reluctance of the present dispensation in pushing the higher education towards commercialization is not just limited to the fees hike in Jawaharlal Nehru University JNU. It seems the government is gradually implementing a plan which is ...

Videos

Latest News

LeBron responds to criticism from Jazz announcers

The Los Angeles Lakers LeBron James took to Instagram on Thursday, one day after he was criticized by Utah Jazz announcers for celebrating teammate Kyle Kuzma from the side of the court while not wearing his shoes. Late in the Lakers domina...

US STOCKS-Wall Street bides its time, awaiting news from trade front

Wall Street was largely unchanged on Thursday as market participants stayed on the sidelines, awaiting further developments in the hoped-for interim trade deal between the United States and China. The SP 500 and the Dow were slightly higher...

UPDATE 2-U.S. House Speaker Pelosi calls Trump a 'coward,' tells reporter: 'Don't mess with me'

On most days, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi attempts to position herself as the tough but calm and controlled counterweight to President Donald Trump, who many Republicans applaud for being confrontational and unpredict...

Iran gas explosion kills at least 11 people, injures dozens -Mehr

At least 11 people were killed and dozens were injured in a gas explosion in Irans western Kurdistan province on Thursday, the countrys semi-official Mehr news agency quoted a provincial emergency official as saying. At least 11 people were...

Give Feedback