We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Auschwitz tree planted in the Lake District

January 30, 2017 4:49 PM

Holocaust Memorial Day eventA tree originating from Auschwitz was today dedicated and a plaque unveiled to commemorate the remarkable story of the Holocaust survivors who restarted their lives in Windermere after WWII. Tim gave a speech at the unveiling, which was also attended by a Holocaust Survivor, second generation children and other guests.

The tree was grown from an acorn from Oświęcim in Poland - the site of the notorious Auschwitz concentration camp during WWII in which over a million people were killed. Holocaust Memorial Day, commemorated today, is held on the 27th January each year to coincide with the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

The tree was supplied by the Lake District Holocaust Project and planted in August 2015 at Lakes School by Ben Helfgott, Honorary President of Holocaust Memorial Day Trust. He planted it exactly seventy years to the day since he arrived at the location where the tree is located. He arrived as an orphan along with a large group of child survivors of the Holocaust.

Three hundred orphans arrived on Calgarth Estate, now the site of Lakes School, to begin to rebuild shattered lives in the summer of 1945. They came directly from the Nazi concentration camps to, in their words, "the Paradise of the Lake District".

Tim said: "It was an honour to be asked to speak at the unveiling of this plaque and the dedication of the tree today, on Holocaust Memorial Day. The tree stands as a reminder of the capacity of humanity both for great evil and great good. The children who survived the holocaust had experienced the indescribable horrors of the concentration camps. Yet they came over to Windermere and were welcomed here to their new home, to restart their lives. This tree, and this place, are a reminder that we must all stand up for the values of respect, tolerance and decency, and fight prejudice and intolerance. My thanks go to all who attended, and to the Lake District Holocaust Project for their work educating the public about the Holocaust and the new home made in Windermere by those who survived it."

Photo

The photo shows Tim with Sam Gontarz (a Holocaust Survivor) sitting with his grandson Remi. Sam lives in Manchester. He is not one of the child Holocaust Survivors who came to Windermere but has been great friends with many of them since he came to England.