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'We went through hell' - Holocaust survivors share their stories with students in Hendon
Holocaust survivors shared their stories of living through “hell” with students in Hendon this week.
Pupils from across the capital visited the Holocaust Survival Centre (HSC) in Church Road where its members spoke about their personal experiences of the Second World War.
Lilly Ebert, 84, of Barnet, was a prisoner at Auschwitz-Birkenau along with her mother, three sisters and her younger brother.
Speaking about their arrival at the camp she said: “We were greeted by a terrifying scene. They shouted at us ‘quick quick’. We had to stand in fives.
“Those fit for work were sent one way whilst the others were selected for immediate extermination. I and my sisters were selected for work. My mother with my younger sister and brother were taken immediately to the crematorium.”
Approximately six million Jews were killed during the Second World War – but Mrs Ebert said those who survived still suffered.
She said: “We went through hell and after the hell some could not cope and took their own lives.”
Fred Knoller, 91, of Totteridge, said: “Our faith helped us through. In the camp I prayed ‘please God get me out of here’ and somebody up there listened.
“My belief in God helped me – but a lot of people gave up.”
HSC and Jewish Care set up the event on Wednesday to educate young people about the Holocaust.
Mr Knoller said: “It’s important for us to be able to speak to students because we survivors fear that the Holocaust will be forgotten. If we have these ambassadors they will be able to carry on our legacy and tell their grandchildren about meeting us and what we went through.”
Royal Holloway university student Regina Oladipo, 19, said: “It’s important to pass on this legacy to other young people everywhere. We mustn't forget what happened.”
Hundreds of people are expected to attend a service marking Holocaust Memorial Day on Sunday January 20. The event will take place at Ricketts Quadrangle in the grounds of Middlesex University, The Burroughs, at 1pm.