Holocaust survivor shares his story with St George's

Students from St George's College, Salesian School and Jubilee High School gathered together in the College Chapel on Thursday 28 June for an incredible opportunity to hear from Holocaust survivor, Marcel Ladenheim.

Marcel, a Parisien, was just three when the Germans invaded France in 1939. In May 1941 Marcel’s father was arrested by the French police, leaving his mother alone with a new-born baby and two year old Marcel. Realising the desperate situation, she decided to go into hiding with the children, but unfortunately this stressful situation led to her having a breakdown and she was hospitalised. Fortunately for Marcel, two sisters, Olga and Esther Masoli, hid Marcel for the duration of the war, knowing full well that it was extremely dangerous to harbour Jews. Marcel believes his father was killed in Auschwitz and although his mother survived, she was too unwell to care for her children.

In 1948, Marcel and his brother moved to Manchester to live with their aunt. Marcel studied at Manchester University and worked as a dentist, before starting a family of his own. Marcel, who represents the Holocaust Educational Trust, talked of not only his own story but also of the tragic story of the many French Jewish children who were sent to their deaths in Auschwitz. 

Marcel explained to the students that he continues to speak to younger generations because he feels a need to remind them of the horrors of WWII so that something like this will never happen again. 

Marcel showed old family photos to the students, he showed memorials set up for those that lost their lives and he also showed a short video which gave more insight into some of the atrocities that took place.

Once he had finished his presentation, Marcel took part in a short Q&A with the students, who asked engaging and thoughtful questions, both about Marcel's story and also what his views were on some of the recent disturbances taking place in France linked to antisemitism.

One of the students from St George's then presented Marcel with an honorary Georgian tie to thank him for sharing his story with everyone.

St George’s College is incredibly grateful to Marcel for coming in and for showing true courage to educate young people all over the country with his talks.

28 June 2018

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