Death camp survivor Ike Alterman 'proud' to feature in new Holocaust exhibition in Salford's IWM

Video report by ITV Granada Reports journalist, Anna Youssef.

A Jewish man who survived four Nazi death camps during the Second World War has spoken of his pride of featuring in a new exhibition marking Holocaust Memorial Day.

Generations: Portraits Of Holocaust Survivors, brings together more than 60 contemporary photographs of Holocaust survivors and their families.

First shown in London and Paris, the exhibition features four new pictures of survivors who made new lives after the Second World War in the North West.

Among those featured is Ike Alterman, 94, who for many years found it too painful to speak about his time in four separate death camps, including Auschwitz.

'Windermere Boys' - the children liberated from death camps who were sent to Britain. Credit: Lake District Holocaust Project UK

After the camps were liberated in 1945, he was one of 300 Jewish orphans sent to live in the Lake District, later becoming known as the 'Windermere Children'.

"After all I went through, I turned my life around", he said while admiring his portrait in the Imperial War Museum North ahead of the exhibit opening.

"For years I could not bring myself to talk, not even to my family, because I didn't want them to suffer. Most of the surviving boys did the same thing, we couldn't speak."

Ike, who also lost most of his family in the atrocity, went onto marry, have children and set up a successful business in Manchester.

During his spare time, he educates young people on the Holocaust and has written a book about his life.

He said: "Not only did I survive but I made a life for my children to show the world that after all the atrocities and the bad times - I beat Hitler."

Werner and Ruth Lachs see their portraits exhibited for the first time at IWM North. Credit: PA images

Among the new portraits are married couple, Werner Lachs, 96 and his wife Ruth, 86, who also visited the exhibition ahead of its opening.

Both lost extended family in the Holocaust but Werner’s family escaped Germany thanks to an MI6 agent and Ruth was hidden by sympathisers.

Sadly, her younger brother was murdered in Auschwitz.

The couple, who live in Prestwich, in Manchester, say exhibitions that highlight the darkest moment in their community's history are important.

Generations: Portraits Of Holocaust Survivors is a free exhibition opening at IWM North. Credit: PA images

"We need to try to ensure that history does not repeat itself", Werner said.

Ruth, originally from Hamburg, and Werner, who was born in Cologne, were married in 1962 and now have nine grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Werner worked in clothing manufacturing for more than 50 years and Ruth for the NHS.

In 2019, Mrs Lachs received a British Empire Medal for her services to Holocaust Education.

Simon Hill, the Royal Photographic Society’s President (RPS), said: “It has been an immense privilege to meet each of these camp survivors and refugees and to explore with them their unique stories.”

The exhibition will also feature photography from RPS patron, Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales. It was organised by The Jewish News newspaper.

Generations: Portraits Of Holocaust Survivors is a free exhibition opening at Imperial War Museum North on 27 January and running until summer 2023.

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