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StandWithUs UK Hosts Memorial Service by UK’s Only ‘Stumbling Stone’

14 February 2023

On the 14th of February, educational charity StandWithUs UK held a memorial service by the UK’s only Stumbling Stone (or Stolperstein), located in Golden Square, Soho. As of December 2019, 75,000 of these brass plates have been installed across Europe at the last place of residence or work for victims of the Holocaust.

This particular brass plate commemorates the life of Ada van Dantzig who died in Auschwitz on this exact date. Amongst those in attendance was local MP Nickie Aiken, Annabel Pattle and Louise Cohen from the Holocaust Educational Trust, Betti Blatman who is a second-generation Holocaust survivor, as well as staff and students from the StandWithUs UK charity. 

Director for Strategic Partnerships, Devora Stoll, thanked everyone for taking the time during the day to come and pay their respects. She reflected on how, “This small 10 centimetre brass plate in the middle of one of the busiest cities in the world was able to bring all of us together. It may seem insignificant to a passer-by, but to us it keeps Ada’s memory alive. We can never underestimate the impact our actions can make, no matter how small”.

Annabel Pattle from the HET addressed the crowd and recalled Ada’s life story; she was a Dutch Jew who studied and worked in London. She became concerned for her family in the Netherlands as Hitler rose to power, and finally returned to Rotterdam in 1939. Her and herfamily were arrested in France as they tried making their way to Switzerland, and were murdered in Auschwitz. Pattle concluded her speech by reminding us all of the threats we still face today regarding antisemitism and discrimination.

As the cleaning ceremony for the stone went underway, Nickie Aiken MP, alongside Betti Blatman polished the stone, whilst StandWithUs UK Emerson Leadership students helped alongside. This signified the imperative idea that we must keep the memory of the Holocaust alive with every generation.

Following a recitation of the poem ‘Shema’ by Primo Levy, read by HET Ambassador Caitlin Murphy, Rabbi Yisroel Lew of Bloomsbury Chabad recited Kaddish to conclude the intimate ceremony. He poignantly touched upon the symbolic timing of the gathering in relation to this week’s Torah portion, as well as the importance of remembrance.

About StandWithUs UK:

StandWithUs is an international, non-profit and non-partisan Israel education organisation that works to inspire and educate people of all ages about Israel, as well as challenge misinformation and fight against antisemitism. Founded in 2010, StandWithUs UK has become a recognised support system and leading resource for students on UK campuses. We empower and energise students and communities with leadership training and educational programmes on both school and university campuses. StandWithUs informs through social media, printed materials, digital platforms, film and newsletters. The StandWithUs flagship Emerson Fellowship programme seeks to raise students into future leaders, equipped to stand strong in the face of antisemitism and anti-Zionism. We believe in the right of the Jewish People to self-determination in their historic homeland of Israel. We educate the facts in an unbiased and holistic manner, with an open mind, reflecting on views from all sides of the political, social and humanitarian spectrum whilst promoting peace. StandWithUs UK believe the current discourse surrounding Israel on campus all too often crosses the line between legitimate criticism of Israel’s policies and the dangerous, mainstream, antisemitic rhetoric which stands contrary to the IHRA definition of antisemitism. We work to educate on that distinction, encourage civil discourse on legitimate criticism of Israel, and to fight antisemitism wherever it emerges.


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