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Pride of Britain awarded to Sir Ben, survivor of Holocaust

Sir Ben
Holocaust survivor and double Olympian Sir Ben Helfgott receives his Pride of Britain award from Stephen Fry by the Holocaust Memorial in Hyde Park, London.

Sir Ben Helfgott, the British weightlifting hero and the person who survived holocaust was bestowed upon the award of Pride of Britain to honour is tireless work for the past 50 years. He has been involved in teaching the lessons of the Nazi era and has been helping those fight the horrors of the same. He will be turning 91 next month.

His parents and younger sister were killed in the Shoah. He survived Buchenwald and it was freed from Theresienstadt, before he was brought to the United Kingdom at the age of 15.

11 years after these incidents, Sir Ben was made the captain of the British weightlifting team during the 1956 Olympics. He repeated this achievement for your letter as well.

Due to the worldwide pandemic caused by coronavirus, the format of Daily Mirror’s Pride of Britain awards was reinvented as sir Ben was recognised with Marcus Rashford with the other unsung heroes. In normal circumstances, this event included a very special dinner in Central London but instead of that, a host of celebrities have been going around the country over the past few weeks to surprise the winners.

Sir Ben’s achievements

Sir Ben has been involved in most of holocaust remembrance and education organisations. He will be seen by a TV audience on November 1 as he will be receiving the famous trophy with his wife from Stephen Fry. Three sons and five of his grandchildren will also be in attendance.

“His actions speak for all humanity, however. His quiet determination to ensure that the unspeakable wickedness and evil of what happened has been inspirational. Against indifference, denial and doubt he has raised a literal and figurative memorial wall that honors the victims and helps push back against the possibility that such horrors might be allowed to happen again,” said Fry. “It was so wonderful to see his large family standing there beaming with pride and of course I couldn’t help but think ‘if he hadn’t survived … none of them would be there.’”

He has been actively educating the younger generations about the past tragic incidences so that the history doesn’t repeat itself. He was knighted last year and the Jewish news presented him with the lifetime achievement award in 2012. He also received awards from the HET and Limmud FSU.

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Vidhi Narula

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