Shoah sur­vivor and daugh­ter hon­oured

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY - BY JOSH JACK­MAN

A HOLO­CAUST sur­vivor and her daugh­ter have re­ceived the Free­dom of the City of Lon­don for their work ed­u­cat­ing tens of thou­sands of school­child­ren about the Shoah.

Lady Za­hava Kohn, who spent 20 months in Ber­gen-Belsen, trav­els around Bri­tain with Hephz­ibah Rud­of­sky to present sec­ondary school chil­dren with the per­spec­tives of a sur­vivor and her daugh­ter.

Ms Rud­of­sky said she felt “a sense of pride” to be part of the cer­e­mony, which takes place in Lon­don’s Guild­hall.

“Be­ing recog­nised with my mother makesthis­more­sig­nif­i­cant.Th­eschools pro­gramme is about my mother’s story — an or­di­nary fam­ily thrown into ex­tra­or­di­nary c i r c u m s t a n c e s dur­ing the war. To­gether we have been speak­ing i n s c h o o l s around the UK, and in Ger­many, for the past six years. We have ad­dressed thou­sands of stu­dents from di­verse eth­nic­i­ties and re­li­gions.

“Af­ter my grand­mother died, my mother was clear­ing out her room and found a suit­case con­tain­ing pa­pers she had­kept­inWester­bork­camp­inHol­land and in Ber­gen-Belsen. It was only af­ter my mother dis­cov­ered the case that she spoke about this pe­riod of her life.

“I asked my mother if she would speak about her ex­pe­ri­ences in a pub­lic arena. My mother is a pri­vate woman — when we started she just spoke dur­ing a Q&A ses­sion. But now it’s a full pre­sen­ta­tion, a con­ver­sa­tion and in­ter­ac­tion be­tween us.

“One can­not over­state the im­pact and im­por­tance of sur­vivor tes­ti­mony, which un­for­tu­nately won’t be pos­si­ble for much longer.” The pair joined il­lus­tri­ous names such as Benjamin Dis­raeli and Nel­son Man­dela in win­ning the award, which was first handed out in 1237.

LadyKohn ( right) and­her daugh­ter Hephz­ibah Rud­of­sky

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