Holocaust Memorial Day: World-leading pianist tells of 'cloud of horror' she remembers from Auschwitz

  • Video report by ITV News Arts Editor Nina Nannar

A world-leading piano teacher tells of the "cloud of horror" she remembers from Auschwitz as she "escaped from death".

Nelly Ben-Or, who narrowly avoided the Nazi-led concentration camp as it was full on the day she arrived, managed to hide out in an abandoned pig sty with her family.

Ms Ben-Or tells ITV News: "I remember the whole cloud of horror, I lost my father - he was murdered in an horrific place by the Nazis.

"We were escaping from death, literally every day and night.

"We were on a train going to Auschwitz but the word went through, they are taking us to Auschwitz," she added.

Ms Ben-Or said: "When I heard this, I had heard such horrific stories about Auschwitz, I will never forget the actual fear that I experienced then. It was totally overwhelming, physical total fear."

Despite everything, she never gave up on her dream of becoming a pianist.

Much of her musical training in her native Poland took place while her family was hiding in Nazi-occupied Warsaw, where her mother, Antonina Podhoretz, time and time again risked everything to afford her daughter access to the then scarce instrument.

Now, aged 88, she has recently been awarded an MBE for sharing her story so that she could teach future generations.