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The Indian Schindler

As we share with you people who proved themselves to be advocates and allies of the Jewish people, you may notice that the name of Oskar Schindler - the Nazi whose kindly actions toward Jews during the Holocaust saved many lives and inspired the famed movie directed by Steven Spielberg - when describing these selfless heroes. This week's hero is no different. The Times of Israel's Manik Mehta tells of an Indian leader who saved more than 1,000 children during the Holocaust, and the new documentary on his life and work (which you can watch, in full, above):

Orphaned Polish children — Jews and Catholics alike — faced an uncertain future, but in the midst of the gloom a ray of hope appeared when a kindhearted Maharaja (member of Indian nobility) in a princely state in Gujarat agreed to accept the Polish children and look after them.

The emotionally charged subject of children finding refuge in an alien culture is deftly handled in “Little Poland in India,” produced by enterprising Delhi-based female Indian filmmaker Anu Radha whose films generally deal with children’s issues.

As the horrors of the Holocaust and WWII unfolded in Europe, General Władysław Sikorski — the first prime minister of the Polish Government in Exile and Commander in Chief of the Polish armed forces — wrote to British prime minister Winston Churchill to plead for the safety and protection of the starving young children, the “treasure of Poland,” as he called them.

Though India was in the midst of an independence struggle against colonial British rule and faced a famine, the “Jam Sahib” (a nickname stemming from the words for “king” and “owner”), as Maharaja Digvijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji Jadeja of Nawanagar was affectionately called, stepped in to help in the dire situation...

Tags: Advocates and Allies

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