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75 years since 'Windermere Boys' started new life in Cumbria

Some of the holocaust survivors on Windermere ferry. Credit: Lake District Holocaust Project

It has been 75 years since 300 child holocaust survivors arrived in Cumbria to start new lives.

With no surviving family members, boys and girls from concentration and labour camps in eastern Europe left their home countries behind to live in the Lake District - they're known as the 'Windermere Boys'.

The children were transported to the English countryside as part of a recuperating scheme. They were given education, training and language skills, as well as psychological assistance to help them integrate into British society.

I was reborn in Windermere in 1945. The promise of England was a dream to a teenage boy who no longer believed he could believe in dreams.

– Michael Perlmutter, Windermere Boys
1.1 million people were killed in Auschwitz. Credit: PA

A service will take place in Windermere today to commemorate the liberation of Auschwitz and the arrival of the Windermere Boys.

David Shannon, a relative of two of the survivors, Moniek and Cesia, will be among the guests and will read messages of hope and support from his family members.

The event will take place at Windermere Library on Monday 27 January, from 11am to 12 noon, and is hosted by the Lake District Paradise Project.

In 2019, the last surviving 'Windermere Boys' gathered to recreate a photograph taken in 1945 just before they travelled to England.

The eight remaining stood in the same spot in Prague to take the same picture again with hundreds of their relatives.

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