Charles’ Holocaust survivors portrait project is subject of new BBC documentary

Holocaust survivors Anita Lasker Wallfisch, Rachel Levy, Lily Ebert and Manfred Goldberg (clockwise). Credit: Angel Li and BBC Studios

The Prince of Wales has commissioned leading artists to paint seven of the last survivors of the Holocaust for a special exhibition at Buckingham Palace.

The portraits of the survivors, who all spent time in concentration camps as children, will become part of the Royal Collection and be displayed in The Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.

Holocaust survivor Helen Aronson Credit: Angel Li and BBC Studios

Prince Charles, who is Patron of National Holocaust Memorial Day, said: “As the number of Holocaust survivors sadly, but inevitably, declines, my abiding hope is that this special collection will act as a further guiding light for our society, reminding us not only of history’s darkest days, but of humanity’s interconnectedness as we strive to create a better world for our children, grandchildren and generations as yet unborn; one where hope is victorious over despair and love triumphs over hate.”

The Prince of Wales has commissioned the portraits. Credit: Tom Hayward and BBC Studios

There will also be a documentary shown on BBC Two which follows the creation of the artworks as the artists and survivors meet for their final sittings.

Survivors: Portraits of the Holocaust will air on Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January and “audiences will hear the testimonies of the remarkable men and women who witnessed one of the greatest atrocities in human history”.

Clara Drummond painting Holocaust survivor Manfred Goldberg. Credit: Angel Li and BBC Studios

Karen Pollock CBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: “These Holocaust survivors endured the very worst.

“They were rounded up into ghettos, sent to concentration camps and enslaved as forced labourers. To survive the concentration and death camps and 77 years later see their portraits displayed in Buckingham Palace is very special indeed, and a poignant and fitting testament to their lasting contribution to this country.

“The Nazis intended there to be no Jews left in Europe – instead these survivors are honoured at the heart of British society.

“HRH The Prince of Wales has long been a true supporter of Holocaust education and remembrance, and we could not be more grateful and indebted to him for the work he continues to do to ensure that the Holocaust holds a central place in British history and memory.”

Holocaust survivor Zigi Shipper Credit: Angel Li and BBC Studios

The survivors included Zigi Shipper and Manfred Goldberg, who met the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2017 when they returned to the former Stutthof camp in northern Poland for the first time.

Seven Portraits: Surviving the Holocaust will go on display at Buckingham Palace from 27 January to 13 February and the Palace of Holyroodhouse from 17 March to 6 June.