Holocaust Memorial Day

    Photographs of survivors of the Nazi genocide of Jews have been displayed in a new exhibition on Holocaust Memorial Day in Manchester.

    Generations: Portraits Of Holocaust Survivors, brings together over 60 contemporary portraits of Holocaust survivors and their families, including photos taken by Catherine, Princess of Wales, avid photographer and patron of the Royal Photographic Society (RPS).

    The exhibition, first shown in London in 2021 and in Paris last year, features four new photographs, all taken by RPS President Simon Hill, of Holocaust survivors who have rebuilt their lives after the World War II and raised families in the North West of England.

    They include a married couple, Werner Lachs, 96, and his wife Ruth, 86, who visited the exhibition at the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester before it opened.

    Holocaust Memorial Day
    Werner and Ruth Lachs (Peter Byrne/PA)

    Both lost their extended family to the Holocaust, but Werner’s family fled Germany thanks to an MI6 agent and Ruth was hidden by sympathizers, but her younger brother was murdered in Auschwitz.

    Ms Lachs, from Prestwich, Manchester, said: “The terrible times we had with the Nazis will not be forgotten and we hope it never happens again, it’s just a reminder to people that generations have , Thank God that people have children, have made a decent life after the war for themselves.

    “I’m thinking about it, but thank God we got out of it and I thought about the future and I settled down, I had a family and thank God we have nine grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. -children, so I’m glad I managed to make a reasonable life for myself.

    The exhibition aims to capture the connections between Holocaust survivors and the younger generations of their families, highlighting the full lives they lived and our collective responsibility to ensure their stories live on.

    The rise of Adolf Hitler as German dictator and the persecution of European Jews by the Nazis and their collaborators between 1933 and 1945 led to the mass extermination of six million lives, most of them murdered in bedrooms gas or bullets.

    Royal visit to Germany – Day One
    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to the Holocaust memorial in Berlin (Jane Barlow/PA)

    Simon Hill, President of the Royal Photographic Society, said: “It has been a huge privilege to meet each of these camp survivors and refugees and explore their unique stories with them.

    Justin Cohen, the Jewish News editor who came up with the idea for a photography exhibition and made contact with the Princess of Wales via Buckingham Palace, hopes there will be more events around the world.

    He said: “Following the historic decision of the United Arab Emirates to include Holocaust education in its curriculum for schoolchildren, my ultimate goal would be to see the exhibition in this country and in more wide of the Arab world.

    Generations: Portraits Of Holocaust Survivors is a free exhibition opening at IWM North on January 27 and running through summer 2023.

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