19 Princelet Street

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Tassaduq Ahmed MBE Tassaduq Ahmed
1923-2001

The Evening Standard

11 July 2002

The House that history built.

Letters

The letters page as it appeared in the newspaper. THE article on the building at 19 Princelet Street, which has not been a functioning synagogue for some 40 years, was well meant but had many errors (A Princelet among house, 8 July). It does not began to be "the nation's answer to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam" and the use of her name is both misleading and totally inappropriate.
   The claim that it was a "refuge and centre for many Jews coming to London in the 1930s" is unlikely and it was certainly not known as such.
  The synagogue had no connection with the Central British Fund which rescued the 10,000 children who came here from the Kindertransport.
    Four generations of my family were regular worshippers at the synagogue be including myself, from e turn of the century. The important work of restoring the building ls not helped by myths and exaggeration.

Raymond Kalman,
Corsham Street, N1.

A.N. Wilson is right: £3 million is indeed "not much for a project of this sort" , to save a beautiful building as the first museum in Europe describing the experience of different peoples who have found here a refuge from persecution, famine and war.
  But it is not English Heritage which is spending the £3 million, nor doing the preservation work.
  This charity called The Spitalfields Centre at 19 Princelet Street, was set up to preserve the building for all our communities, reflecting our varied histories: Asian people who fought in our wars; Caribbean people, some here because of the British slave trade; Jewish people wha were rescued as children from Nazi oppression; and the unaccompanied children who are arriving to this day, from war-torn parts of the world.
  These are stories not only of adversity but of courage and triumph. That is why we, volunteers with diverse backgrounds (not a private company as Mira Bar-Hillel on 9 July has it), are working to raise the £3 million.
  We thank English Heritage for help with emergency works. Now, we ask London's political leaders and the people of this city to help us. We should not forget A.N. Wilson's words: that sum is really not much for a project of this sort.

Delwar Hussain
Jim Rollo CMG
Randolph Vigne
Susie Symes, chair of trustees,
19 Princelet Street, E1.