A 91-year-old Holocaust survivor had a standing ovation by 200 guests at a Jewish Care charity fundraiser reliving his life in Nazi-occupied Europe.

Ivor Perl, who lives at the charity’s Golders Green campus, was on stage at St John’s Wood Synagogue in conversation with presenter Dov Forman to raise funds to keep a Holocaust survivors’ centre running.

“The memories of the Holocaust never leave you,” Ivor said. “Talking about it brings back many traumatic moments.

"The Survivors’ centre is important as we get older, a place to be together and is what we really need right now.”

The evening was hosted by Countdown star Rachel Riley, who has visited the Holocaust Survivors’ Centre several times this year and who introduced guest speaker Dame Maureen Lipman.

The actress and comedian recently performed in Rose, a one-woman s West End how about a woman who survived the Warsaw ghetto.

Dame Maureen said: “We will all need Jewish Care in our lifetime. The survivors’ centre is so important and we have to continue to give our support.”

The evening raised £150,000 for the centre which supports 300 survivors, refugees and their spouses with social and therapy programmes four days a week. But it gets go government funding to meet the £375,000 yearly running costs.

The charity’s Linda Bogod spoke of her parents born in Germany when the Nazis rose to power. Her grandfather was murdered on Kristallnacht in 1938 “simply for being Jewish”, one of 91 Jews killed that night. Her father escaped from Germany in 1939 as a teenager, just three months before Hitler invaded Poland that started the Second World War and the genocide in which six million Jews were murdered across occupied Europe by the Nazis. 

Another Holocaust survivor at the fundraiser was Hannah Lewis, who has giving talks for the Holocaust Education Trust about witnessing as a child her mother being shot by a Nazi death squad in Poland and lying in the snow bleeding to death.

German soldiers came with dogs to their village. Her mother calmly gave her a kiss, walked out of their house and closed it behind her and then pushed with other Jews towards the village well. Hannah was just six years old, but knew she must not cry out and give herself away or she would be dragged to the well and murdered alongside her mother.

“At that moment I grew up,” she recalled in one of her talks. “One thing that haunted me as I got older was my mum’s decision not to look at me when she was being shot. It saved my life.”

Hannah, now 86, survived and reached London in 1949 as a 12-year-old refugee to live with a great uncle.

She returned to eastern Poland for the first time in 1985, looking for the well where her mother was murdered — but it had vanished, covered up over the years.