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University of York – Ruth Wiener’s Story – HMD 2024

University of York – Ruth Wiener’s Story – HMD 2024

Activity information

Activity type: Public activity

Organisation name: University of York


University of York
YO10 5DD
United Kingdom

Tuesday 23 January 2024, 6.30pm to 7.30pm

Speaker: Barbara Warnock, Wiener Holocaust Library

Free admission, booking required

Holocaust Memorial Day Lecture

This event is organised in response to the 2024 HMD theme of ‘Fragility of Freedom’.

Ruth Wiener was the first daughter of Dr Margarethe Wiener and Dr Alfred Wiener, the Wiener Holocaust Library’s founder. Born in Berlin in 1927, Ruth spent the early years of her life in Germany before she relocated with her Father, Mother, and her two sisters Eva and Mirjam to Amsterdam, Holland.

Join Barbara Warnock, from the Wiener Holocaust Library, to hear how life changed for the Wiener family following the Nazi occupation of Holland. On the morning of 20 June 1943, Margarethe, Ruth, Eva and Mirjam were detained by the Nazis and sent to Westerbork, a transit camp in the south of Holland. In January 1944, after seven months in Westerbork, the family were deported to Bergen-Belsen. Ruth survived both camps and was one of the few people to escape Bergen-Belsen on an exchange scheme in January 1945.

Ruth’s papers were donated to the Library by her son, Michael Klemens, in 2014. The story that unfolds within her documents is both compelling and extraordinary. By showcasing items from this unique collection, this talk aims to give an insight into the incredible journey and life of Ruth Wiener.

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