LONDON — Prince of Wales has warned the “horrific lessons” of World War II are at risk of being forgotten.
In a speech at a World Jewish Relief dinner in Krakow, Poland, he said the humanitarian agency’s work in tackling poverty helps “support people practically, emotionally and spiritually.”
He said this is particularly important “at a time when the horrific lessons of the last war seem to be in increasing danger of being forgotten.”
Although he did not elaborate on this remark, it came just days after US President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily barred people from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the US.
His comments also come after the White House had to respond to criticism after it did not mention Jews in its statement commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day.
Prince Charles has previously warned about global political change. Last month, he said: “We are now seeing the rise of many populist groups across the world that are increasingly aggressive towards those who adhere to a minority faith. All of this has deeply disturbing echoes of the dark days of the 1930s.”
Prince Charles would reportedly welcome a meeting with Trump to discuss interfaith relations, sources close to him told the Guardian. He is willing to meet with the President if the state visit goes ahead later this year. Royal sources said the prince’s record as an advocate for interfaith relations and his many connections in the Islamic world might carry weight with Trump.
In his speech, the Prince of Wales emphasised the importance of reaching across faiths and communities, saying that “in reaching beyond your own community, you set an example for us all of true compassion and true friendship.”
Prince Charles, who is a patron of World Jewish Relief, added that its work is above all “about mobilising the resources of one community to help, not only those who are amongst the global Jewish community who are in desperate need, but also other people, irrespective of their faith.”
He also mentioned his own attempts to reach across different faiths and said it was his grandmother’s sheltering of a Jewish family during the World War II, which inspired his work.
He praised Lord Weidenfeld, who fled the Nazis in Austria and arrived in Britain barely speaking English. Weidenfeld later became a British citizen, and became one of the UK’s leading social and intellectual figures.
Prince Charles said Weidenfeld “never forgot how Quakers had helped him to escape from Nazi Germany and who, even late into his life, facilitated the evacuation and re-settlement of Iraqi Christians from Mosul, fleeing the barbarism of Da’esh.” Weidenfeld had told the BBC said he felt “inadequate help” was being given to those fleeing ISIS.
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