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30th Jun, 2022

Holocaust survivor ready to re-live horrors

Worcester Editorial 14th Nov, 2013 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

A BRAVE Holocaust survivor is set to share his harrowing tale at the University of Worcester next week.

Zigi Shipper has been invited by the university’s history department to speak on Monday (November 18) in partnership with the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) which is marking 25 years of working with schools and communities to educate people about the tragic event’s historical significance and contemporary relevance.

Mr Shipper, who was born in Poland to a Jewish family in 1930, was just nine-years-old when the Second World War broke out and, along with his grandparents, was forced to move into the ?ód? ghetto which became an industrial centre charged with supplying Nazi Germany.

Following the ghetto’s liquidation in 1944, Mr Shipper and thousands of his fellow Jews were sent to Auschwitz, where a Nazi officer would decide whether or not each individual was fit enough to work. Those who were deemed not fit for work were murdered almost immediately.

Mr Shipper was then sent to a concentration camp near the Polish coastal city of Gdansk, where he worked at a railway yard.

The evacuation of prisoners from this camp began in early 1945, when thousands were sent on a Death March – their initial destination being the German city of Neustadt. With the Russian front advancing, the prisoners were then told they would be sent to Denmark.

Before this could happen though, they were liberated by British troops in May 1945.

Three days after liberation, Mr Shipper was admitted to hospital, where he stayed for three months, due to the effects of overeating during those three days after a long spell of malnutrition.

Mr Shipper arrived in the UK in 1947, and now lives in Hertfordshire with his family, and works alongside the HET to educate and raise awareness of the Holocaust.

Dr Wendy Toon, senior lecturer in Modern World History said: “We are delighted and privileged to be welcoming Zigi Shipper to the University of Worcester.

“As part of our on-going relationship with the HET we hope to offer annual Holocaust related events every November and another series of events on or around Holocaust Memorial Day, January 27.”

The event takes place between 1pm and 3pm in the Yelland Lecture Theatre and is free and open to all.

To reserve a place, e-mail ihca@worc.ac.uk or for more information contact Dr Wendy Toon at w.toon@worc.ac.uk.

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