Sunday, 1 May 2011

Yom Hashoah in Kenton

“One cell of anti Semitism always has the potential to re-grow”. These were the words from Susan Pollack (pictured), this morning’s speaker at Kenton Shul’s Yom Hashoah service. She was trying to explain the dangers of anti Semitism and the need to root it out before it becomes harmful. Her mission in life has been to let the world know what she and her family went through during the war years. She still visits schools at the age of eighty to deliver her message.

Sue was born in Felsogod, a little village north of Budapest, Hungary. She described in detail her life there. She came from quite an Orthodox family. She recounted how they would not touch pens or pencils on Shabbat as a child. Her father was the one who ran the Synagogue in the village.

Early in 1944 her father together with other men of the village were taken away on a lorry never to be seen again. She wasn’t quite sure what happened to him. However a woman reported that they had been severely beaten and then brutally murdered.It also wasn't quite clear whether this was a Nazi or Hungarian attrocity.

Sue was later deported to Aushwitz together with her mother and brother. She was sent by Dr Mengele to work detail, her brother was sent to take the bodies from the gas chambers and burn them in the crematoria, something he never got over until his death in 1995. Her mother was sent straight to the gas chambers.

From Aushwitz she went on the death march across Germany and ended up in Bergen Belsen where she was liberated in a very emaciated state.

She started her life over again first in Sweden then in Canada then finally she came to UK to London. Twenty years ago she finally received her degree after being denied this in Hungary.

Thank you Sue for sharing that with my community.

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