NEW YEAR’S HONOURS 2018: Awards for ‘hero’ Holocaust survivors and educators

PUBLISHED: 23:00 29 December 2017

pictured L-R Hannah Lewis,Freda Wineman,Jack Kagan & Joan Salter on Holocaust Memorial Day. Picture: Nigel Sutton

pictured L-R Hannah Lewis,Freda Wineman,Jack Kagan & Joan Salter on Holocaust Memorial Day. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email

Holocaust survivors and educators from the Ham&High community have been recognised in the 2018 New Year’s Honours.

Holocaust survivor Joan Salter at the Hampstead & Highgate literary festival at LJCC. Picture: Nigel SuttonHolocaust survivor Joan Salter at the Hampstead & Highgate literary festival at LJCC. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Among those to receive awards for services to Holocaust education are survivors Joan Salter, 77, Hannah Lewis, 80, and 94-year-old Freda Wineman, from Golders Green.

The chairman of the Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR) Andrew Kaufman has also been awarded an MBE in recognition of his services to Holocaust education.

Karen Pollock MBE, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust said: “We have been arranging for Holocaust survivors to deliver their testimony in schools for almost 30 years – and we are immensely proud to see several of them honoured by the Queen - as they so rightly deserve.

“Their tireless dedication to tell their story, reliving their most horrific moments, in order to educate the next generation, is extraordinary.

Holocaust survivor Hannah Lewis. Picture: Mike BrookeHolocaust survivor Hannah Lewis. Picture: Mike Brooke

“A huge Mazel Tov to all recipients – the survivors are at the heart of all we do and they are all our heroes.”

Joan Salter, of Church Crescent, Muswell Hill, recieved the OBE. The former chairman of the Child Survivors Association of Great Britain, was born Fanny Zimetbaum in Brussels. After the German invasion of Belgium in May 1940, Ms Salter’s father was deported. Her mother took Joan and her sister to Paris, which her father considered to be safer, and she carried them down through Vichy France and eventually over the the Pyrenees mountains into Spain.

Ms Salter regularly shares her family’s incredible story of survival, travelling across Europe to escape persecution. in schools and colleges for the Holocaust Education Trust.

Hannah Lewis, 80, who has lived in Highgate for more than 40 years, was also given an OBE.

Andrew Kaufman AJR chairman. Picture: AJRAndrew Kaufman AJR chairman. Picture: AJR

Ms Lewis as born on the June 1 1937 in Wlodawa, Poland, on the border with Ukraine.

She had a happy and uneventful childhood until war broke out and the Nazis occupied Poland. In 1943 Hannah and her family were rounded up and taken to a work camp in a village called Adampol. Over time most of her family disappeared. Her father and his cousin managed to escape and joined the Partisans, and Hannah and her mother remained in Adampol.

In the last winter of the war she got ill with suspected Typhoid. Her mother was lined up along with others and shot. Hannah was finally liberated in 1945 by a Russian soldier who picked her out of a trench, dirty and very hungry.

After the war Ms Lewis was brought to London to live with her great aunt and uncle. She married in 1961, and had four children and eight grandchildren. She has been sharing her experiences in schools and universities for several years to teach young people about the impact the Holocaust has on the contemporary world.

Survivors Jack Kagan & Freda Wineman at LJCC Holocaust Memorial Day.  Picture: Nigel SuttonSurvivors Jack Kagan & Freda Wineman at LJCC Holocaust Memorial Day. Picture: Nigel Sutton

The chairman of the Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR) Andrew Kaufman, 71, of Belsize Park, has been at the forefront in the development of the AJR’s charitable institutional grant-making such that the AJR is now proud to be the biggest benefactor of Holocaust education and remembrance programmes and projects working with the leading specialists in the UK.

He has been a leading advocate of the creation and development of the AJR’s ground-breaking Refugee Voices testimony archive, a collection of 225 transcribed interviews with refugees and survivors that have been recorded for study and posterity.

Mr Kaufman said: “As the son of two refugees who fled Nazi oppression and rebuilt their lives in Britain, I feel hugely honoured and enormously proud to have been nominated and to accept this wonderful award, which I shall deeply treasure, on behalf of everyone at the AJR.”

Auschwitz survivor Freda Wineman, 94, from Golders Green, was also honoured by the Queen.

She was imprisoned in the notorious camp at the age of 19. She had been deported with her family from her native France, before later being moved to the Bergen Belsen and Theresienstadt camps.

She watched her parents and younger brother murdered.

Ms Wineman was sent towards the gas chambers with her brother, mother and father before being called back and kept at Auschwitz to work. Later she discovered her two other brothers had also been saved. They were reunited in Lyon before Ms Wineman married and moved to the UK, having two children.

When she revisited Auschwitz in 2009, she said: “I only started to speak about the Holocaust in the 1990s. It was always too painful to talk about.” Since then she has recounted her testimony many times to help educate future generations.

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