Leeds WWII ORT school building gets blue plaque

Pupils standing in front of the ORT Technical Engineering School The ORT Technical Engineering School opened in January 1940 at Roseville Avenue

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A building which housed a Leeds school for Jewish children who had fled the Nazis during World War II has been marked with a blue plaque.

The ORT Technical Engineering School looked after 106 Jewish boys, aged between 15 and 17, at its houses in Chapeltown from 1940 to 1942.

The plaque was erected by Leeds Civic Trust on one of the houses, which is now the New Horizon Community School.

It was unveiled by former ORT pupil Sydney Sadler.

Dr Kevin Grady, director of Leeds Civic Trust, said: "Though the ORT School in Leeds existed for only three years, its establishment played a vital role in saving the lives of over 100 German Jewish boys."

The ORT charity was founded in 1880 by a group of wealthy Jewish families in St Petersburg, Russia. It opened a number of schools in Europe including in Germany, where it was closed by the Gestapo in 1943.

When the war began in 1939, 106 of the 215 boys who studied at the school, along with seven teachers and their wives, managed to flee Berlin for Britain. The remaining students and teachers were sent to concentration camps.

The ORT School opened in Leeds in January 1940 at Roseville Avenue, Chapeltown.

Mr Grady added: "It is a very sobering thought that the pupils and teachers who remained at the ORT School in Berlin were sent to the concentration camps by the Nazis."

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