Memorial to Frank Foley
1st October 2018
This post comes from undergraduate student at the University, Anna Cardy.
On 18 September 2018, HRH the Duke of Cambridge unveiled a statue commemorating the life of Frank Foley in Stourbridge. Foley is noted for saving 10,000 Jews from a near certain death in the shadow of the Second World War.
Classed as a ‘British Schindler’, Foley played a pivotal role in thousands of German Jewish lives while risking his own in the process. In the run up to the Second World War, Foley was part of the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) and was based in Berlin. Through this he worked with passport control, providing visas to Jews to enter the country at a reduced cost. He also went further by forging documents as well as visiting concentration camps to save Jews from Nazi persecution.
Foley spent the latter years of his life in Stourbridge, never speaking about his actions that remained unknown until after his death 10 years after the end of the war. It has only been in the past 20 years that he has received widespread recognition for his efforts. In 1999, Foley was recognised as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem; in 2004, a plaque dedicated to him was unveiled at the Berlin embassy; and, in 2005, a statue was unveiled in his birth place of Highbridge, Somerset.
Foley’s actions exemplify how one individual can make a vital impact on so many lives and how we all can make a difference no matter how big or small. With growing anti-Semitism and hatred in society today, it is important to stand together against discrimination and prejudice. Frank Foley’s statue is a permanent reminder of the work of an individual who went above and beyond in a highly precarious situation. It was further encouraging to see the future king acknowledge and support the work of young people in the continuation of the lessons of the Holocaust and in ensuring the memory is never forgotten.