One of the many young Jews saved from Nazi concentration camps says he is repaying the debt by rescuing Christians from Islamic State.
George Weidenfeld, 95, funds an operation to rescue up to 2,000 Syrian Christians from persecution by extremists, Aleteia reports.
The initial phase of Weidenfeld’s effort, Operation Safe Havens, saw 150 Syrian Christians flown by private charter to Poland with the permission of both governments, according to Aleteia. The program seeks to provide 12-18 months of financial support for refugees.
Weidenfeld was among the children saved by Quakers and Plymouth Brethren who utilized the Kindertransport (children’s transport) effort to ensure safe passage from Nazi-occupied Austria to England in 1938.
“I had a debt to repay. It applies to so many young people who were on the Kinderstransports… It was very high-minded operation, and we Jews should also be thankful and do something for the endangered Christians,” Weidenfeld told The Times.
The U.S. declined to partner with Weindenfeld’s mission, because he is only rescuing Christians, not the Shiite Muslims, Druze or Yezidis also targeted by Islamic State.
“I can’t save the world, but there is a very specific possibility on the Christian side. Let others do what they like for the Muslims,” said Weidenfeld.
Weidenfeld is a crossbench peer, an independent member of the House of Lords, and although he arrived in Britain with nothing, he became a millionaire in the publishing industry.