Holocaust survivors to restore Polish Torah scroll


(JTA) — Holocaust commemoration activists invited survivors in Britain to help restore a Holocaust Torah scroll.

The Torah scroll project will be launched in London on March 29 at a ceremony hosted by Britain’s Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles, the From the Depths commemoration group said in a statement Thursday.

The scroll was found last year by volunteers in a rural area in northern Poland, 72 years after a rabbi from the town of Filipow gave it to a neighbor for safekeeping. The rabbi and his community were transported to death camps.

The family used more than half the scroll’s parchment for various household needs, From The Depths’ founder, Jonny Daniels said. His group had the scroll evaluated and prepared for completion by a scribe, who began the restoration by drawing the outline of the missing letters.

Some of the letters are to be filled in by Holocaust survivors in Britain, Daniels said. From there, the scroll is to travel to other Jewish communities around the world where other survivors will be asked to help with the scroll’s completion.

“I’m clearly not Jewish, but I want to tell you what it means to me,” Pickles said at a meeting in London with From the Depths. “The nazis weren’t content with killing Jews. They wanted to wipe the memory of Jews from the face of the earth. So every time a letter is completed, its another victory against fascism, naziism and brutality.”

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