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And on today’s 77th anniversary of VJ Day, marking the end of the Second World War, she backed calls for a commemorative plaque in the city.
Miriam is a patron of the Facebook group Shanghai Internees and Jewish Refugees Group 1945, established by her close friend Iain Leighton.
The family of Iain’s mum Halesia Kerr were interned in Shanghai from March 1943 to August 1945. She was one of 6,000 civilians forced to live in several camps, along with 22,000 Jewish refugees.
Iain, 70, a retired lawyer from Hampshire, said his mother would have been “overjoyed” to learn the group now has more than 600 members.
However, he added: “Sadly there is no plaque anywhere in Shanghai to remind the public about the 6,000 allied civilian internees incarcerated.”
“I am absolutely determined a plaque will be erected in Shanghai.”
Miriam, 81, added: “I am proud to be the patron of the Shanghai Internees and Jewish Refugees Group 1945. It is so important that we should all recognise the sacrifices made by so many others to keep the world free.”
The Harry Potter actress said: “Vigilance and gratitude are still central to the work Iain and his group are doing. I totally support and approve what the group does.”
“In my view, Iain performs a mitzvah – which in Hebrew means a good deed. Very much so.”
Meanwhile he is keen to hear from anyone with stories to tell, or who has relatives who may have been interned.
He has urged people to contact him via [email protected]
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