The Haberdashers' Jewish Society was honoured and privileged to host Holocaust survivor Harry Olmer to speak to 300 students and teachers (a J-Soc record), from both the Boys' and Girls' Schools in a packed Aske Hall to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day.
Harry’s story and experiences during the Holocaust are truly incredible - he suffered in many different camps in awful conditions, such as Plasnow, Buchenwald and Thereisenstat concentration camp, where he was liberated by the Russian army on 8 May 1945. During the Holocaust, Harry suffered a recurring nightmare of a brick wall being built between himself and his mother, growing in height until he could no longer see her. Harry’s mother, father and three of his five siblings perished in the Holocaust.
The opportunity to hear a Holocaust survivor’s accounts first hand is becoming increasingly rare and it is imperative we ensure stories such as Harry’s are not forgotten, along with the six million other Jews murdered in the Holocaust and the 17 million overall victims. Harry is a retired dentist and served for the British army in Germany to run an army dental centre. He now has four children and eight grandchildren, including Josh Kaye in Year 12. May we all take something from his strength and resilience in the face of persecution.