Stamford Bridge on Thursday evening was the setting for an inspiring evening, featuring untold stories of strength and survival amidst the horror of the Holocaust, on Thursday to raise vital funds for the building and redevelopment of the Imperial War Museums’ new Second World War and Holocaust Galleries.
Presented by the Chelsea Foundation and Imperial War Museums, the evening was hosted by David Baddiel and featured testimony from Holocaust survivors, plus Chelsea Chairman Bruce Buck, IWM director General Diane Lees, Rabbi Nicky Liss, renowned journalist Hella Pick, Michael Attenborough and many more special guests.
All proceeds from the evening will be donated to the Imperial War Museum London’s vital project to redevelop their Second World War and Holocaust Galleries, due to open in 2021.
The event, titled ‘Light from the Dark’, forms part of our ongoing ‘Say No To Antisemitism’ which is supported by the club’s owner Roman Abramovich and aims to raise awareness of and educate our players, staff, fans and the wider community about antisemitism and its impact.
Bruce Buck said: ‘This event is just one of many events we are doing as part of the Say No To Antisemitism campaign, which everyone at Chelsea is fully committed to.
‘Mr Abramovich has made a donation to the Imperial War Museums and we are sponsoring this dinner to support the new galleries with respect to the Holocaust.
‘Our perspective is that the key to solving antisemitism and racism is education, so a gallery talking about the Holocaust will be very positive.
‘We are very proud of the work we are doing, but it is important to know this isn’t the only project we are involved in with respect to racism, we are involved in many projects relating to all kinds of discrimination and we will continue to do that.’
Chelsea launched the campaign in January 2018 - four days after Holocaust Memorial Day, when Bournemouth visited Stamford Bridge.
Owner Roman Abramovich wrote a unique foreword for the matchday programme, while in the Directors’ Box Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis presided over a candlelighting ceremony and was joined by special guests, including Holocaust survivors and leaders from the Jewish community.
Since then, various activities have taken place including Holocaust survivor Harry Spiro meeting the men’s first team, and fans and staff visiting former concentration camp Auschwitz, while the Foundation continues to educate the next generation via workshops on the subject in local schools.
Later this year, Maurizio Sarri and the squad will travel to the United States to play a match against New England Revolution, with Roman Abramovich and Revolution owner Robert Kraft contributing $1 million each to the campaign. Tickets for that game are on sale.