Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting TIMES NEWS to 80360, or email us
Great-grandmother Judy Benton visits Germany to see plaques to her parents unveiled
A 91-year-old great-grandmother from Edgware has spoken about an “astonishing” trip she took to Germany.
Judy Benton, of Stratton Close, was invited to Meissen in the former East Germany on November 9 to see the unveiling of a memorial to her late parents.
The Evangelical and Lutheran Churches of Meissen invited Mrs Benton, her daughter, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, to the unveiling of the copper tiles which have been laid to commemorate her parents who died at Auschwitz.
The group, which also included four of Mrs Benton’s relatives from Israel, began their day by visiting a school where the 91-year-old gave a talk about her escape from Nazi Germany in 1939.
Mrs Benton said: “I was astonished at the genuine effort to welcome me and my family experienced.
“I gave a talk, in German, to about 300 people and lots of people cried as my story about my escape unfolded.
“There was a question time and one student said that he had no questions but, with tears in his eyes, he apologized for what I had to endure during the time of the Nazi regime.”
After the talk the group listened to the peals of the Meissen Glockenspiel.
There were then two minutes' silence to remember the six Jewish families from the town, including Mrs Benton’s, who died at the hands of the Nazis.
In the afternoon the family was taken to the house Mrs Benton’s parents had lived in and a ceremony was held to unveil the plaques outside.
Mrs Benton said: “Everybody thanked me for attending and said we were building bridges.
“This was a day which will stay forever in my memory.”
In 1939 Mrs Benton, who was a child, returned to her family home in Meissen to find that her parents had vanished.
She abandoned the town and was taken by the Kindertransport to London.
But her parents were not so fortunate.
They had been taken to a Nazi holding camp before being transported to Auschwitz, where they both died in 1943.