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Surviving as a North London Jew at the heart of Hitler’s Reich

Saturday, 19 January, 2019 13 Shevat 5779

4:15 PM - 6:15 PMRabbi Wittenberg's home

This talk will take place at the home of Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg.

Surviving as a North London Jew at the heart of Hitler’s Reich
A talk by John Jay, author of Facing Fearful Odds: My Father's Story of Captivity, Escape & Resistance 1940-1945

19th January 2019 at 4.15pm


On 22 May 1940 North London stockbroker and Territorial Army volunteer Alec Jay, member of Dunstan Road United Synagogue and former UCS pupil, arrived in Calais with his regiment, the Queen Victoria’s Rifles. After four days of intense fighting, he was taken prisoner of war along with those of his colleagues who were not killed. His situation as a POW was exceptionally perilous as he was a Jew. Made to wear distinctive clothing at one point during his captivity, he was all too aware of the Nazis' determination to eradicate his race. Undeterred, he made five escape attempts as well as leading a successful POW protest strike, one of the very few during the war. During his final escape bid, he teamed up with Czech partisans and fought alongside them during the closing stages of the war. John Jay, a former journalist and now an investment manager, has reconstructed his father's war using archive material from four countries and numerous other sources and POW accounts.

NNLS members will have the opportunity to buy signed copies of the book for a discounted price of £15 (RRR price £25).

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Sun, 24 March 2019 17 Adar II 5779