Stewarts has continued its tradition of hosting a webinar for lawyers and staff in conjunction with the Holocaust Educational Trust, to mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2024. We were grateful to hear Tracy Moses, whose father Harry Spiro is a Holocaust survivor, speak about her father’s experiences.

Tracy is a second-generation survivor who has taken up telling her father’s story. She works with the Holocaust Educational Trust to share his testimony and ensure that communities are  reminded where hatred can lead, to prevent history repeating.


Harry Spiro’s story

Born in Poland into a Jewish family, Harry was 10 years old when Nazi Germany invaded in 1939 and created a ghetto for the Jewish community in his home city of Piotrków. Harry took a job in a glass factory to help his family, lying about his age so he could get employment before his 12th birthday. In October 1942, while he and others with work permits were separated from the rest of the community, Harry’s family was removed from the ghetto and taken to Treblinka extermination camp.

At that point the only survivor from his family, Harry was moved along with his surviving Jewish neighbours to a labour camp in nearby Częstochowa, before being relocated again to the Buchenwald and then Rehmsdorf concentration camps. Towards the end of the second world war, Rehmsdorf’s prisoners were sent on a ‘death march’ to Theresienstadt in then-Czechoslovakia. Harry was one of 270 survivors from the 3,000 who began the march. Theresienstadt was thereafter liberated by Soviet soldiers.

Harry was one of 732 Jewish holocaust survivors known as “the Boys” who came to the UK after the war’s conclusion. Aged 94, he now has three children and an extended family including great-grandchildren. Harry has travelled several times to Poland with members of his family to ensure they can connect with their history.


Holocaust Memorial Day

Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) takes place each year on 27 January. The date was chosen as the anniversary of liberation of the largest Nazi death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau. Each year we mark HMD to remember the horrors of genocide and to honour the survivors.

The theme for HMD 2024 was Fragility of Freedom. The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust says: “On HMD 2024, we can all reflect on how freedom is fragile and vulnerable to abuse. As we come together in communities around the UK, let’s pledge not to take our freedoms for granted, and consider what we can do to strengthen freedoms around the world.”

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