Duchess Camilla Expresses ‘Pride’ Over UK’s Treatment of Holocaust Survivors
Britain’s Duchess of Cornwall said on Tuesday she is proud of how the country has taken care of Holocaust survivors and refugees who escaped Nazi persecution, Britain’s Jewish News reported.
Camilla, 68 — the second wife of Charles, Prince of Wales (who was first married to the late Lady Diana) — visited the Holocaust Survivors Centre (HSC) in London and met some 100 survivors who found refuge in the UK after World War II. She talked with them about the importance of keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive in her generation and the next. “I just hope these stories will continue so people know just how incredible you’ve all been,” she said. “I’m also very proud this country has looked after you so well.”
Henrietta Kelly, who spent 20 months in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp from the age of six, personally invited the Duchess to the HSC after sitting next to her at an event last year commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. They spoke at the HSC on Tuesday and Kelly said the Duchess expressed genuine interest in the stories of all the survivors at the event.
“She remembered me and another lady on my table – and even recalled what I’d told her that my parents didn’t recognize each other when they met on the street in Paris after the War,” she told the Jewish News. “She really is so interested and chatty and made sure everybody had a chance to speak. I could never have imagined in a million years that I would meet a member of the Royal Family.”
Ninety-four-year-old Freddie Knoller, another survivor, said about the royal, “She’s an amazing woman, so easy to talk to.”
Lord Levy, president of the charity Jewish Care, added: “The fact we had such a senior member of the Royal Family visit the Centre is an indication of how the Royal Family understand and relate to all the different communities, particularly the Jewish community. Everybody at the Centre had a day that will live long in the memory. One survivor said to me that the visit ‘was yet another stage in the healing process for me.’”
The duchess heard the survivors tell their stories and then spoke about her own father’s experience as a prisoner of war, according to the Jewish News. She praised the “wonderful” Centre and the connected Shalvata facility, which offers support to survivors of more recent conflicts. After hearing the wide variety of activities and services offered at the facility she said, “Everything seems to happen here.”