Seven Holocaust survivors appear in paintings commissioned by Prince Charles


Charles commissioned the paintings of the older men and women to serve as a lasting reminder of the horrors of the Nazi regime, and was moved after meeting a model who showed the prince her concentration camp tattoo.

Auschwitz survivor Lily Ebert, 98, whose photo was revealed with six others at London’s Queen’s Gallery, also showed the heir to the throne a gold pendant she hid from camp guards in her shoe and then in his daily ration of bread. In the foreword to a catalog accompanying the exhibition, Charles wrote that we are all “responsible for each other, for our collective history.”

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He said: “Seven portraits, seven faces. Each a survivor of the horrors of those years, who sought refuge and a home in Britain after the war, becoming an integral part of the fabric of our nation.”

The Prince of Wales meets Holocaust survivor Rachel Levy while attending an exhibition at the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace. Image: Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA ​​Wire

Mrs Ebert, 98, showed the future king her pendant and rolled up her jacket sleeve to reveal the tattoo on her left forearm A-10572: A for Auschwitz, ten her block number and 572 her prisoner number. .

In July 1944, 20-year-old Mrs. Ebert and her family (mother and five siblings) were transported to Auschwitz. His father and some of his brothers were sentenced to death in the gas chamber after encountering the infamous Josef Mengele, known for his experiments on the camp.

Speaking of her angel pendant, she said: “This necklace is very special. He went through Auschwitz and survived with me. Auschwitz took everything, even the gold teeth that were taken from people. But this survived.”

The prince called on the talents of seven acclaimed artists involved to take part in the year-long project: Paul Benney, Ishbel Myerscough, Clara Drummond, Massimiliano Pironti, Peter Kuhfeld, Stuart Pearson Wright and Jenny Saville.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall with Holocaust survivor Manfred Goldberg at an exhibition of Seven Portraits: Surviving the Holocaust, which was commissioned by Prince Charles, Prince of Wales. Image: Arthur Edwards – WPA Pool/Getty Images

The project is the subject of a 60-minute BBC Two documentary, Survivors: Portraits of the Holocaust, which will be screened today to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The show will air after a new group was established to promote the “living legacy” of a Scotswoman who gave her life to protect Jewish girls during the Holocaust.

The Jane Haining Project was formed by a cohort of Christians and Jews who believe their story is relevant today in light of rising levels of antisemitism, racism, and bigotry.

Plans to launch a national essay writing competition in Scottish high schools and a digital heritage tracking app of notable places connected to the Church of Scotland missionary who died in Auschwitz and the Jewish community are in the pipeline.

Miss Haining was the matron of the Scottish Mission School in Budapest, Hungary, and she refused to abandon “her girls” after World War II broke out in 1939, even though she knew her life was in danger.

She was taken to Auschwitz in Nazi-occupied Poland, where she died at the age of 47.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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