Ealing Holocaust Survivor's Story Told in Parliament
Michael Brown fled Nazi Germany in 1939 his story recounted before MPs
( MP Rupa Huq with Ealing holocaust survivor Michael Brown and his partner Margaret in Parliament on Monday.Picture by Paul Williams)
An Ealing man who fled Nazi Germany as a child was in Parliament to hear arguments against the government's decision to close the so called '' Dubs scheme''.
The scheme had offered displaced child refugees safe passage to the UK and it's abandonment has led to outrage with a number of local authorities including Ealing Council (who successfully rehoused 13 to date) joining together to take legal action.
Watching on in the public gallery was local resident Michael Brown of Ealing Broadway who knows more about child refugees than most. To his neighbours he is a doting grandad now aged 86 long retired, but when he arrived in the UK in 1939 it was as a nine year old football mad Hannover fan called Franz Schlesinger fleeing the horrors of Nazi Germany who’d come to England on the penultimate Kindertransport train, which rescued thousands of refugee Jewish children.
It was badgering by his own son that led to his authoring of his emotional story in a 2016 book Moving On: My Journey Through Life, The Memoirs of Michael Brown.
Rupa Huq, raised Michael’s experience in Parliament when challenging government abandonment of Dubs obligations.
She said: ''At Ealing Town Hall on Holocaust Memorial Day, Michael Brown gave a public lecture where he movingly described his story, the terrors he faced then how he became a child refugee. He also advocated the need for Britain to be open to children from Europe fleeing atrocities today. Ealing is lucky to have such an extraordinary resident. On such occasions we all right say ‘never again’ but this government seems unable to learn these lessons.”
''Numerous local authorities, such as Ealing, Hammersmith, and even Hastings—the Home Secretary’s backyard—are willing to take more, so why are the Government pulling the plug on the world’s most vulnerable by closing the Dubs scheme?”
Michael commented : “I was very moved by [Rupa’s] impassioned plea for the government to act more generously regards giving a haven for homeless refugee children living hazardously in Europe. It is a matter close to my own heart, having been rescued by Britain from Nazi persecution in 1939 and being allowed to lead a useful and contented life in a tolerant country.”
A Parliamentary vote on the Dubs scheme, despite a number of Conservative rebels supporting its re-introduction, was voted down but various campaign groups and the Labour party are continuing the fight.
March 15, 2017