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Jewish Holocaust survivor speaks of fleeing Nazi capture at the National Holocaust Centre, Laxton, as part Holocaust Memorial Day to commemorate 75 years since Auschwitz was freed




The National Holocaust Centre and Museum hosted a lecture from one of its regular speakers as part of Holocaust Memorial Day, writes Tomiris Mansurova.

The Laxton centre was visited by Bob Norton, a Jewish man that fled the Nazi's capture twice, who spoke of his experiences in the talk 'Journey's Survival'.

Bob was born in Czechoslovakia in 1932 and, in 1939 as a seven-year-old, escaped to England with his family.

Holocaust survivor Bob Norton giving a talk at The National Holocaust Centre and Museum. 280120DD4-1
Holocaust survivor Bob Norton giving a talk at The National Holocaust Centre and Museum. 280120DD4-1

Bob said despite the devastating events coming to an end 75 years ago, that society needed to do more to ensure they did not re-occur.

"That is what we are trying to do here at the Holocaust centre," he said. "To teach children tolerance and understanding.

"Sadly in the past few years, this intolerance has risen dramatically and, in the last six months, there has been nearly a 40% increase in hate crime."

Holocaust survivor Bob Norton lighting a candle at The National Holocaust Centre and Museum. 280120DD4-8
Holocaust survivor Bob Norton lighting a candle at The National Holocaust Centre and Museum. 280120DD4-8

Now 88, Bob said he did not know why there was still a lot of prejudice within society, but that the centre was trying to break down these barriers.

He said: "There is still a whole lot of prejudice that we have got to fight.

"That's why this place has grown and been there to help people to try and ensure it doesn't happen again.

"The Holocaust is something very unique, never before has an industrial murder been organised like that."

Alice Jiggings, of Laxton, said she thought society had changed for the better since the liberation of Auschwitz.

The 23-year-old civil servant said: "I can't imagine what is it like to live in times when something terrible like that would happen.

"I feel privileged that I was brought up by a society where something like that would never happen.

"I feel like it's really important to learn those lessons."

Matt Beighton, 36, a Midlands children's author, came to see the Holocaust exhibition but was not aware Bob was presenting his speech.

When asked if society had changed in the last 75 years, Matt said: "The problem is we haven't changed much, there were issues back then and there are issues now.

"There are issues that are on rise and it is very sad to see that, but coming to this event is very empowering.

"We have to be reminded of what people have been through."

A lecture was held at the centre on Sunday by Roman Nieczyporowski, a Swedish-Polish doctor who is one of 4,000 Jewish people currently living in Poland, to help commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day.

He discussed the cultural legacy of living in the country that was forced to pay host to the Nazi concentration camps, and how this was part of the Polish national psyche today.

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