Lord Finkelstein: a sense of gratitude and proportion

Polad IN interviewed Lord Daniel Finkelstein at the Wiener Holocaust Library. He described how his family had been saved by the fake Paraguayan passports organized for thousands of Jews by Polish diplomats working in Switzerland during WWII

See full interview here.

The interview with Lord Finkelstein took place at the library which was founded by his grandfather in 1933. His grandfather had been the first person to begin to archive the crimes being committed by the German Nazis.

Lord Finkelstein said that the faked Paraguayan passports which had been organized for his mother and her sisters via the activities of the Ładoś group consisting of Polish diplomats in Switzerland who, with the knowledge of the Polish government in exile, forged Paraguayan passports to help Jews escape the Holocaust.

He also spoke of his father, an officer in the Polish army, who managed to avoid being taken to Katyn in 1940 and was deported to Siberia by the Soviets. He was certian that his father would have been delighted to learn that his wife and her sisters survived the Holocaust as a result of actions taken by Polish diplomats.

Lord Finkelstein said that surviving the Holocaust made his family determined to make a mark on life so that their lives wold not be defined by the horror they had managed to survive. He also pointed out that it meant they had a “sense of proportion” in life which meant they would never use the terms “Stalin” or “Hilter” when referring to modern day events.

Lord Daniel Finkelstein is a senior journalist with “The Times” and has in the past worked in senior positions for the British Conservative Party and policy think tanks. His father Ludwik was an academic and mining engineer and his mother Miriam founded the Anne Frank Foundation. Daniel Finkelstein’s sister Tamara is a senior official (Permanent Secretary) at the Department of Environment and his brother Anthony is a software engineer and senior government adviser.