A WOMAN who survived the Holocaust told students about the horrors she experienced.
As part of a series of events marking Holocaust Memorial Day, on January 27, Toby Biber gave a talk to pupils from Douay Martyrs school, Ickenham, at Northwood United Synagogue, in Murray Road.
She told them how she was born in Poland in 1925, making her just 14 years old when the Second World War broke out.
Her family had all their possessions confiscated by the Nazis and, in March 1942, they were rounded up and taken to a forest, where they stayed for five days.
Toby and her sister, Sarah, were separated from the rest of their family, whom they never saw again.
By the summer, they were sent to Auschwitz where she was branded with a tattoo which she showed the pupils – number A17537.
The sisters were then sent to another camp, Bergen-Belsen, where they survived for eight months before liberation in April 1945.
But just eight days after leaving the camp, Sarah died.
Soon after, Toby met Max, a Polish man serving in the British Army, and the pair came to the UK in 1947, marrying two years later.
Max passed away just a few years ago.
The talk was part of Northwood Holocaust Memorial Day Events (NHMDE), a ‘unique concept’ according to Rabbi Aaron Goldstein, of Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue.
He said: “NHMDE is a grassroots organisation – it did not begin because the Government or any other authority told it to.”
Members of the two synagogues in Northwood set up the day to challenge hatred and the idea that genocide could, and has been, repeated since the Holocaust.
Now used as a model around the UK, NHMDE remains the largest event of its kind in the UK.
More than 25,000 local school children have now experienced the events, including the most important part of them – hearing first hand from a Holocaust survivor.
“These young people represent the grassroots of a new generation that will stand up to negative stereotyping, prejudice, bullying, racism and homophobia,” said Rabbi Goldstein. “They will ensure the unacceptable never becomes acceptable in their society.”