Robert Rinder celebrates receiving MBE on same day as his mother

The TV judge is being honoured for services to Holocaust education and awareness.

Robert Rinder has said being made an MBE on the same day as his mother has made the experience “all the richer and frankly the more beautiful”.

The barrister and TV judge, 43, is being honoured for services to Holocaust education and awareness, as is his mother Angela Cohen, who is chairwoman of the ‘45 Aid Society, a charity set up by a group of child Holocaust survivors in 1963.

Rinder, the star of reality show Judge Rinder, recently explored the stories of Jewish families in a BBC series and speaks regularly in schools alongside survivors.

Robert Rinder
Robert Rinder has been made an MBE (David Parry/PA)

Ms Cohen, meanwhile, has led the ‘45 Aid Society as it ensures the stories of those families are preserved through education, community and fundraising events.

Speaking to the PA news agency, Rinder said: “I have, just like everybody I love professionally and trust in my life, a kind of nuclear powered sense of imposter syndrome.

“I have to say it has been dialled up even more in receiving this honour which really means the world to me.

“As you probably know, it is made all the richer and frankly the more beautiful because my mum is getting one on the same day.”

On what the honour meant to him, he added: “So many things to say about it but, if nothing else, this kind of award, this MBE, might do even more to persuade people that they need to hear the story of the Holocaust, the survivors and those who perished.

“Of course, it took root not in some historical backwater. It took place in the cradle of democracy, the most advanced place in the world.

“The story I will always continue to tell is that here you had people complacent that they lived in safety when all you needed was the wrong man in the right place at the wrong time – the right economic conditions, that people feel aggrieved by a treaty, and an individual with sufficient charisma to point at a group and say, ‘It’s their fault’.

“And then you have the dark alchemy that descended into the depravity of Auschwitz and so many other places, including where my own family were murdered.

“I think getting this honour and my mum at the same time, which is just double delight, isn’t really just about the honour.

“It’s nice to be sure. More than anything else, I think perhaps what it does is it puts even more wind in the sails of this discussion, for people to feel that telling the story of the Holocaust, knowing about it, is their personal responsibility.

“To defend against tyranny, to defend against hate, to defend against racism of all kinds – and that’s why it is such a gift.”

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access