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Jewish peer who fled Nazis is rescuing Xtians fleeing Isis to repay ‘debt’

Weidenfeld-2-v2Lord Weidenfeld, 95, credits Christians with helping him get to Britain in 1938

A Jewish peer who fled occupied Austria as a child is funding the rescue of up to 2,000 Christians from Syria and Iraq as a way of showing his gratitude to the religion whose members saved him from the Nazis.

Lord Weidenfeld says he has “a debt to repay” to Christians fleeing Isis, because the Quakers and the Plymouth Brethren fed and clothed him and helped him to reach Britain in 1938.

The publisher is spearheading Weidenfeld Safe Havens Fund, which last week supported the flight of 150 Syrian Christians to Poland on a privately chartered plane to allow them to seek refuge, making them the first beneficiaries of the resettlement project.

Having arrived in Britain on a train a year before the start of the Second World War with just a few shillings to his name, Lord Weidenfeld went on to establish the Weidenfeld and Nicolson publishing business a decade later. He was made a life peer in 1976.


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