8:40am Tuesday 10th July 2012
A HOLOCAUST survivor relived his harrowing experiences with a group of school pupils yesterday.
Year 10 pupils from The Commonweal School were given a talk by Professor Ladislaus Löb as part of a visit organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust.
The hour-long talk gave them an insight into the horrific experiences Prof Löb went through as a Hungarian Jew.
Prof Löb has released a book, Dealing with Satan, which charts the story of his rescue from the Nazi death camps and he had the pupils captivated yesterday with his tales.
When Hitler invaded Hungary in March 1944, some 750,000 Hungarian Jews were rounded up and transferred to Auschwitz.
Prof Löb spoke of how a new branch line of the Auschwitz railway was built, and they were put into cattle wagons taking them to within yards of the gas chambers.
Prof Löb was 11 when the Nazis marched into his homeland and it was only thanks to some quick thinking from his father that he was able to relive his tale yesterday, talking of how his father bribed officers and tried to make his disability sound worse than it was.
His father had been shot in the knee during the First World War and could never bend his leg again. However this only counted as a 50 per cent disability, if it were 75 per cent he would no longer have been counted as Jewish and would not be deported.
Speaking of his time spent in Bergen-Belsen, Prof Löb said: “It was pretty awful.
“There was no sanitation for us, and there was not enough food. The camp was designed for 5,000 people and by February 1945 it held 50,000. There was not enough food or sanitation so it was not long before people started dying in their thousands.
“Fortunately I got out in December 1944.
“It was quite an ordeal. It was an ordeal not knowing what was going to happen to us, it was an ordeal not knowing what happened to the people we left behind. It was awful.”
Lottie Rowe, head of religious studies at Commonweal School, said: “It is a privilege for us to welcome Professor Ladislaus Löb to our school and his testimony will remain a powerful reminder of the horrors so many experienced.
“We are grateful to the Holocaust Educational Trust for co-ordinating the visit and we hope that by hearing his testimony, it will encourage our students to learn from the lessons of the Holocaust and make a positive difference in their own lives.”
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