Friday, 29 December, 2017

Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) is delighted that Holocaust survivors and refugees, and a survivor of the Genocide in Rwanda, have all been recognised in the 2018 New Year’s Honours list. 

Hannah Lewis MBE, Joan Salter MBE, Martin Stern MBE, Eric Eugene Murangwa MBE and Bernd Koschland MBE, who have all worked with Holocaust Memorial Day Trust to support Holocaust and genocide commemoration and education, were honoured today.

The list also included Andrew Charles Kaufman MBE, Leslie Kleinman BEM, Harry Bibring BEM, Dr Chaim Olmer BEM, Josef Perl BEM, Harry Spiro BEM, Janine Webber BEM and Freda Wineman BEM, who all received honours for services to Holocaust education. 

Olivia Marks-Woldman, Chief Executive of HMDT said: ‘These honours recognise the significant time and effort these survivors and educators have spent furthering understanding of the Holocaust and genocide. Their tireless work has inspired thousands of people across the country on Holocaust Memorial Day and throughout the year.

‘Honours are a mark of respect for survivors and educators, and this national recognition of their hard work and dedication is of great importance.’

Bernd Koschland MBE

Bernd Koschland was born in Germany in 1931. Shortly after the persecution of the Jews by the Nazis began, Bernd travelled to England alone on the Kindertransport. His sister also came to the UK as part of the scheme, and they never saw their parents again. 

Bernd became a Jewish Reverend in the UK and dedicated his life to Holocaust education, particularly in his area of Barnet. He has done extensive community work and gives talks to schools about his experiences and the Holocaust. He is a member of the HMDT Legacy Consultative Group.

Hannah Lewis MBE

Hannah Lewis is a Trustee of Holocaust Memorial Day Trust. Hannah was born in 1937 in Wlodawa, Poland. During the Nazi occupation, Hannah and her family were taken to a camp in Adampol, where she witnessed her mother being killed. Her father managed to escape and joined the Partisans, before finding Hannah and living in Lodz after the war.

Hannah lives in London. After many years of not speaking about her experiences, she now gives around 30-35 talks a year with the Holocaust Educational Trust. Hannah is also a member of the HMDT Legacy Consultative Group.  

Hannah has also campaigned on behalf of Leuka, a leukaemia charity, raising £5 million for a specialist care unit at Hammersmith Hospital, named after her late daughter Catherine Lewis. 

Eric Eugene Murangwa MBE

Eric played for Kigali’s top football team. During the Genocide in Rwanda his fellow players protected him from the killing, but Eric lost over 35 members of his family. Eric moved to the UK in 1997.

In 2010 Eric initiated the programme Football for Hope, Peace and Unity in Rwanda and the UK, which uses football to promote tolerance, unity and reconciliation among Rwandan young people.

Eric has worked tirelessly to support other survivors of the Genocide in Rwanda and speaks to thousands of people every year to share his story. His educational work includes establishing URUMURI (the UK based associated of Rwandan survivors of the genocide) and Survivors Tribune, which facilitates sessions in schools with survivors of genocide.

 Joan Salter MBE

Joan Salter is a child survivor of the Holocaust. Born Fanny Zimetbaum in Brussels on 15 February 1940 to Polish Jewish parents, she was three months old when Belgium was invaded by the Nazis.

Joan was sent to America where she was fostered and her name was changed to Joan. When the war ended Joan was reunited with her parents in London, but they were both severely traumatised. Joan travelled between her two families in America and Britain.

Joan now lives in London and regularly shares her testimony in schools and colleges across the country, alongside her academic studies - she has recently completed a Masters degree and is currently working on her PhD in Holocaust studies. She is Chair of the Child Survivors’ Association of the Great Britain Association of Jewish Refugees, a self-support group for survivors. Joan is also a member of the HMDT Legacy Consultative Group.  

Martin Stern MBE

Martin Stern was born in Hilversum in Holland in September 1938. When the Nazis invaded Holland in 1940, Martin's father went into hiding and his mother was taken to hospital to give birth, where she later died. Martin went to stay with his parents' friends. One day, an innocent mistake led Martin and his sister, Erica, to be sent to Westerbork and then onto Theresienstadt. Martin and his sister survived the Holocaust and moved to Britain.

Martin studied medicine at Oxford, ­becoming an immunologist and an ­authority on asthma. He now lives in retirement with his wife and has three children and four granddaughters.

Martin is a frequent speaker about the Holocaust, telling his story to hundreds of people every year. For HMD 2018, Martin is working with the Northern Ireland HMD committee, speaking to school and community groups in Derry/Londonderry. Martin is also a member of the HMDT Legacy Consultative Group.

Janine Webber BEM, who was also listed in the New Years Honours list, has also supported HMDT, particularly for HMD 2015, when she took part in our Memory Makers project. You can read more about Janine's story and the project here.