The Holocaust, it's a period in history isn't it? With no link to you, I, us, Britain? Not quite.
Britain is home to many Holocaust survivors who still bear the physical and mental scars of enduring the most horrific systematic destruction of a race.
We must never forget what humanity did in the 1930s and 40s, and on Friday 4 April, we will have the opportunity to be frankly reminded of this period.
Janine Webber, Holocaust survivor, will be sharing her testimony.
Janine was born in Lwow, Poland in 1932. Persecution of Jews in Lwow started very quickly after its German occupation in 1941. Janine and her family were forced to move to an area on the outside of town in preparation for the establishment of a ghetto. On hearing that there would be a Nazi raid one day, Janine, her mother, and her brother hid in a hole that had been dug under the wardrobe. The Nazis discovered the other members of her family and her father was shot and he and her brother were deported to a concentration camp.
Janine was moved to the ghetto and her uncle was able to find her a non-Jewish family outside of the ghetto who were prepared to hide her. She then went to live with another family with her brother but one day the Polish daughter of the family brought home an SS officer so she was forced to flee. Her brother was killed by the SS officer. She managed to find work as a shepherdess where she remained until the family she was living with learnt of her Jewish identity.
Janine’s aunt had given her the name and address of a Polish man, Edek who was the caretaker of a convent in Lwow and she went to him and hid in the attic of a building where she was reunited with her aunt, uncle and 12 other Jews in hiding. Janine’s aunt managed to obtain fake papers for her and she was taken to a convent.
Six months after the end of the war, Janine’s aunt returned for her. Together, they left for Paris. In 1956, Janine came to England to improve her English where she met and married her husband. Today, Janine still lives in London and regularly shares her testimony.
It is so important to listen to the testimonies of Holocaust survivors. They lived, endured and most importantly survived so that they may tell the world about the dangers of hate and persecution. We all have a role to play in continuing to spread the word about tolerance and understanding between individuals and communities. We must never forget what humanity did in the 1930s and 40s, and on Friday 4 April, we have the opportunity to be frankly reminded of this period. I have been lucky enough to hear from a number of survivors, and they continue to inspire me as they live their lives as strong determined and warm people. I hope everyone gets the opportunity to meet these truly extraordinary people.'
Please come and join us at Hugh Christie Technology College, Tonbridge, Kent, to hear from Janine's incredible testimony and to learn from her strength of character. All are welcome.
For more information, contact Sophie: firstname.lastname@example.org