Holocaust survivor speech

Students listen to extraordinary speech

from Holocaust survivor, Lady Zahava Kohn

On Friday 4th May 2018, Bentley Wood was very privileged to receive a talk from Lady Zahava Kohn who is a Holocaust survivor. The Holocaust took place between 30 January 1933 – 8 May 1945 and 6 million Jews were killed. The majority were either overworked in concentration camps or taken straight to extermination camps.

Lady Zahava Kohn was accompanied by her daughter who told us all about her mother’s experiences. She was smuggled out of the country when things were starting to become dangerous. Her parents had to leave her baby brother behind with the Dutch he was taken into hiding as it was considered safer leaving him there as he looked like a typical German boy.

She was stripped of her childhood when she was just 8 years old when she was taken into the first concentration camp. They were taken to two camps during the war. She was in the camp with her father and mother but was left all alone during the day when her parents were ruthlessly worked by the Nazis.

We were shown amazing original artefacts as Lady Zahava’s mother had been able to take some of them home after they were released. They were discovered much later after the war hidden in her home. We were lucky to see things for example the bowl in which they ate with and engraved letters from the Dutch neighbour about Zahava’s brother. At the time these items were kept at the back of their cramped bunk in the camp and Lady Zahava was unaware that all these precious artefacts were being kept so it was a shock when they were found.

It was amazing for us to hear about her and her family’s experience and how lucky they were on some occasions. One of these was when Zahava had a very bad case of chickenpox when the Nazis came to evacuate them from their home. They were told that they would be taken separately and would meet again but it was near to impossible that this was going to happen. The Nazis ended up giving in and let Zahava and her parents travel together which was extremely lucky.

This was a very beneficial experience for us as history students as it gave us a thorough insight as to what it was personally like for Zahava as a child and what it was like for her mother and her father. We were also told about Zahava’s brother who was kept safe during the war and was reunited with his family when they were released from the camp.

The experience was extremely helpful to year 9 students such as myself as we are currently studying the Holocaust and WW2 so it was amazing to hear Zahava’s story. We were able to see things from a different point of view and this was an unforgettable experience.

Fatema, History Abassador Year 9