Last week brought together many to remember those who lost their lives during a hideous regime which brought about the deaths of an estimated 17million people.

Holocaust Memorial Day is important for people from all walks of life - whether it is something you have learned about through family stories or school - and this year's commemoration was all about focusing on the power of words and sharing stories.

For Golders Green based Agnes Grunwald Spier, these stories have a great deal of weight for her and it has become her life's mission to collate stories from different groups and share those stories with the world.

The 73-year-old's latest book, Women's Experiences in the Holocaust, shares exactly as the title suggests and focuses on the plight of women during that time.

Agnes says: "The word Holocaust was not common usage when I was younger. I have no recollection of asking my mother about it or discussing it but then in 1962 I went to Israel and visited an early incarnation of Yad Vashem.

"That was when I really comprehended what we had escaped and I was very upset and crying."

Her book, she hopes, will educate people about the Holocaust and bring light to the important stories many may not have heard.

"I have three wonderful sons and two lovely daughters-in-law who have given me three smashing grandchildren," she says. "I wanted them to know our background.

"Most people are very ignorant about the Holocaust and what really happened – many think it just happened at Auschwitz, and many Jews who don’t have a direct connection with the Holocaust are quite ignorant.

"I have been touched by the response of non-Jewish colleagues and acquaintances who seem to be powerfully moved by my books and hearing my talks."

Next on the agenda for Agnes, after a holiday, is to write a family memoir of her own experiences and those of her parents, which will feature alongside her previous three books, focusing on areas such as betrayal and women during the Holocaust.

But this year, which can calls "the year of women" her focus is on telling the stories of mothers and daughters and their struggles.

She says: "I hope the interest in women’s history will make people read the book because women’s experience was very different.

"This time should be herstory rather than history."

But most of all, Agnes truly wields the power of words to allow these stories to come to life off the page and connect with people, whether they have a connection or not.

"People need to know their background and be aware of how lucky we are to be alive. So many were destroyed simply because they were Jews.

"I always stress it was not just those actually killed in the Holocaust but the future generations, like my sons and their children who would not have been born, if I had been killed. Most people don’t think about that."

Agnes Grunwald-Spier will be signing copies of her new book, Women's Experiences in the Holocaust, at the Weiner Library in 29 Russell Square, London, WC1B 5DP, on February 7.