Matthew was delighted to learn of recognitions in the New Year's Honour list of several constituents in the Hendon constituency.
Among those recognised are Chaim (Harry) Olmer who is made a Medallist of the Order of the British Empire. The Mill Hill resident, 90, was born in Sosnowiec near the German border in South West Poland. In the spring of 1940 his family was sent to another small village as life in his home town was becoming very difficult. In 1942, Jewish residents were expelled from their homes and after a selection Chaim found himself in Plasnow concentration camp near Krakow, then a munitions factory, then Buchenwald and finally in another munitions factory in Schlieben. As the war came to an end, he was held in Therezenstadt concentration camp where he was finally liberated by the Russian Army on 8 May 1945. Two months later he came to the UK and worked as a dental technician and studied at evening classes before being accepted at Glasgow University to study Dentistry.
A Hendon resident awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to Holocaust Education is Bernd Koschland, 86. Well known to many people who attend the Holocaust Memorial Service in Hendon each year, Bernd came to the UK with the Kindertransport in 1939, after his father was deported to Dachau on Kristalnacht. Upon his father's release, Bernd's parents made the difficult - but sensible - decision to send him to England on the Kindertransport. In March 1939 he made the journey to England and was later joined by his sister. In addition to his Holocaust educational work, Bernd was Chairman of Barnet's Multi-Faith Forum for 14 years.
Edgware resident Lt Col. Mordaunt Cohen, the most senior Jewish officer who served in the Second World War received a Member of the British Empire for his services to Second World War education. Mordaunt joined the British Army after hearing the horrors of Nazi Germany from children who had arrived on the Kindertransport, and fought in Burma from 1942 to 1945. After the war Mordaunt became Chairman of the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women (AJEX). He celebrated his 100th Birthday last year, when Matthew visited him in his home (pictured above).
Matthew said: "I am absolutely delighted that three of my constituents, whom are known to me, have been honoured in this way. Not only did they experience the harsh realities of the Second World War but they have gone on to provide a civic value to their respective communities and have given educational knowledge of their experiences to future generations."