Holocaust survivor gives talk about time in hiding at Tolworth Girls School

Tolworth Girls School students heard first-hand from Holocaust survivor Cirla Lewis.

On the run from the Nazis from a young age because she was Jewish, Ms Lewis was taken in by a Belgian family for 18 months, locked away without being able to shout, cry or play loudly, and frequently with just the family cat to keep her company. After six months, she was joined by a member of the Royal Air Force, who had bailed out of his crashing plane.

“Tom” was also taken in by the family and remained with them until the liberation of Ghent in 1944.

On liberation, Ms Lewis was able to attend school, learn several languages and eventually moved to England in 1950. She has lived locally ever since and has given multiple talks to schools and works for the Imperial War Museum in London.

Ms Lewis also took the chance to have lunch with some Year 9 and Year 12 students, the latter of whom had recently been on a visit to Auschwitz Concentration Camp, which was located in Nazi occupied Poland at the time.

Both the trip and the talk were organised with the aid of the Holocaust Educational Trust.


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