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Auschwitz survivor shares story ahead of memorial day

An 89 year old man who was a prisoner in Auschwitz before being brought to Cumbria as a child, has been telling of how he survived.

Arek Hersch continues to use his story to educate others about the lessons from what happened. He's been in Carlisle in the run up to Holocaust Memorial Day this weekend.

It coincides with an exhibition at Cumbria House, remembering the atrocity and subsequent genocides.Here's Arek's story:


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Former Auschwitz prisoners the 'Windermere Boys'

Today marks 70 years since the liberation of Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz. There will be numerous events across the region to mark the occasion.

Following the end of the Second World War hundreds of young children were taken from the camp and brought to the Lake District to recover.

Now in their 80s, the so called Windermere boys rebuilt their lives in the region. Click here for more on our special reports on the 70th anniversary of the Holocaust.

Candle lighting ceremony in Kendal

A candle on a memorial plaque at the end of the railway tracks at Birkenau Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

A special candle lighting ceremony has taken place in Kendal to mark 70 years since the holocaust of World War Two.

The town is one of 70 around the country to be chosen to have a candle designed by the world renowned artist, Sir Anish Kapoor.

It was selected because of it's links to the so-called "Windermere boys" who came to the Lake District to recover after surviving the Theresienstadt concentration camps in Czechoslovakia.

Three hundred Jewish boys and girls came to the site at Troutbeck Bridge which is now the Lakes School.

One of the Windermere Boys, Joe Berger, who was 12 when he came to the Lake District, carried out the candle lighting ceremony.

He described what it was like when he first arrived in the Lake District.

"It was heaven after two and a half years in the camps. You had plenty to eat, slept in a bed, you could only go up. It was heaven."

– Joe Berger, Holocaust survivor

He said what happened must never be forgotten.

Tomorrow marks 70 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp, the largest of the Nazi death camps.


Kendal marks 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz

Auschwitz was liberated by Soviet troops on 27 January 1945 Credit: Frank Schumann/dpa

A ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz is taking place in Kendal today.

Joe Berger, a survivor of the Theresienstadt concentration camp in Czechoslovakia, will lead the ceremony.

In 1945, the Lake District became home to three hundred holocaust survivors hoping to start a new life, many of them in Windermere.

Full Report: Cumbrian students visit Auschwitz

Auschwitz remains one of the most harrowing images of World War Two.

Hundreds of thousands of people were transported across Europe to the Nazi death camp.

Last week, twenty-four students from Cumbria made the emotional journey to Poland to learn what the victims went through.

Our correspondent Dan Ashby reports, his report contains some distressing images: