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  5. Yom HaShoah 2014 – Escape from Auschwitz

On Sunday April 27th, starting at 8.00pm in Pinner Shul we will recall the bravery of Rudolph Vrba, who together with his friend, Alfred (‘Freddie’) Wetzler, escaped from Auschwitz and travelled through Poland to Zilina in their native Slovakia to alert the Allies of the horrors taking place in the extermination camp.

The key-note guest speaker will be Gerta Vrbová who was married to Rudolph and who will talk about his incredible journey, the challenge in getting the report to the authorities, their reaction and Rudi’s life in the Czechoslovak Partisan Army after his escape. Unfortunately, their  daughter, Zuza, who had been planning on joining us for the evening, died in Summer last year, but her children (Rudi’s grandchildren) will be attending and sharing their thoughts with us too.

The map shown details Rudi and Freddie’s 11-day journey. It has been reported that on  reading the Vrba-Wetzler report Winston Churchill said: “there is no doubt that this is probably the greatest and most horrible crime ever committed in the whole history of the world”.

As a result, the deportations in Hungary were stopped and the lives of 200,000 Hungarian Jews were saved.

His Excellency, The Hungarian Ambassador to the UK will be one of the dignitaries attending and will be giving an address.

Seating will be limited, doors open at 7.15pm, so everyone is advised to come early. We need to pass these stories on whilst we still have the privilege of hearing directly from survivors and hope that many teenagers will also join us for the evening.

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