Holocaust survivor's grim warning for modern world as she sees echoes of history

Eve Kruger BEM sent a message to the world to mark #HolocaustMemorialDay

1/27/2021 12:00:00 PM

Eve Kruger BEM sent a message to the world to mark HolocaustMemorialDay

Eve Kruger BEM sent a message to the world to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

SharesVoice from history: Eve Kugler BEM survived the Holocaust and is now staying true to her mother’s wish that the events should never be forgotten (Picture: Holocaust Educational Trust)A Holocaust survivor has said acts of hate and intolerance around the world provide unsettling reminders of why humanity should remember the horrors she lived through.

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Eve Kugler’s family was terrorised by the Nazis as she grew up in the Germany city of Halle.The 90-year-old spoke to mark Holocaust Memorial Day as one of the dwindling few who can testify in person about the murder of six million Jewish men, women and children.

Her mother, Mia, said to her ‘dying day’ that the atrocities should never be forgotten.Eve, who lives in, has seen dark echoes from history in the mob attack on the US Capitol in Washington and in China’s alleged genocide against the Uighur Muslims.Advertisement headtopics.com

Advertisement‘There is no doubt that if people do not learn from the past, history will repeat itself,’ she said.‘You can see it in the genocide taking place around the world today.‘People are killing each other for no reason other than their beliefs are different or they think differently.

Eve Kugler survived the Holocaust to tell of the horrors of the time including speaking to schoolchildren (Picture: Holocaust Educational Trust)‘We must remember that the genocides of today are all within the borders of one country, such as with the Uighurs of China.

‘The Holocaust crossed borders, all around Europe, north Africa and the Middle East, it was worldwide.‘Today we have anti-Semitism, verbal and physical violence against Jewish people, against synagogues and this is the remainder of the Holocaust. People haven’t learnt.’

Eve was a young girl in the central German city when the Nazis and their collaborators began their reign of terror.Amid the persecution of the Jews in 1938, her 79-year-old grandfather was deported to Poland and 10 days later the fascists rampaged through the family home in what came to be known as the Kristallnacht. headtopics.com

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A synagogue founded by her grandfather was razed to the ground and her father, Salomon, was imprisoned in Buchenwald concentration camp before her mother secured his release.Colourised images of the Holocaust show the terrors faced by inmates in Auschwitz, the largest Nazi death camp (Picture Media Drum/Tom Marshall)

The family managed to escape to France on a forged visa in June 1939.Refuge, however, was short-lived.Salomon was interned because he was a German citizen and a children’s home near Paris where she and sister Ruth had been placed by their mother came under heavy bombardment after the outbreak of World War Two.

AdvertisementAdvertisementAfter France fell to the Nazis, the siblings were granted scarce visas to be evacuated to New York, leaving a third sister, Lea, and their parents behind.Eve’s experience in New York – where the sisters lived in foster homes – has made her even more dismayed at the US Capitol riot shortly before Donald Trump’s departure from the White House.

She likened the mob attack to the Reichstag fire in 1933, which was blamed on Communists but was used by Hitler to scapegoat his opponents and tighten his stranglehold on power.The former journalist told Metro.co.uk: ‘I was rescued from Europe by the Americans and I lived there for many years. headtopics.com

‘Watching these people on January sixth reminded me of the burning of the Reichstag and the attack on the synagogue in Halle where I was born. It was very distressing.Holocaust Memorial Day marks the liberation of Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau on January 27, 1945 (Picture: File image)

‘The fact that many people from different parts of the country came to Washington and organised an attack on the foundations of democracy is terribly dangerous. It’s a sign of what can happen if people lose control and don’t listen to each other.’A tireless advocate of education, the mother-of-two speaks in schools. She is moving her talks to Zoom during the pandemic and will address a memorial day event in Solihull remotely today.

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She was awarded the British Empire Medal in 2019. Describing herself as a natural optimist, Eve has two step-grandsons and celebrated her birthday with a Zoom party two weeks ago.Established in 2000, the anniversary marks the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau on January 27, 1945.

AdvertisementHolocaust Educational Trust,is ‘be the light in the darkness’.Another strand is celebrating resistance to the Nazis, which is evident in Eve’s parents and sister surviving occupied France before the family reunited in New York in 1946.Mayor of London Sadiq Khan lights a candle at Auschwitz-Birkenau during ceremonies marking the 75th anniversary of the camp’s liberation last year (Picture: Reuters/Aleksandra Szmigiel)

Karen Pollock CBE, the charity’s chief executive, has cautioned that with the continuing stains of anti-Semitism and hatred, ‘we need to learn about, and from, the horrors of history more than ever’.Eve said: ‘Meeting or reading about survivors is so important for people to know that the Holocaust was real and it really did happen. My mother always said, “everyone has to know what happened”.

‘She said it to her dying day. We have to keep getting the message across, we have to keep fighting.‘We have to make sure it didn’t happen for absolutely nothing. We have to learn from the total destruction of the Jewish people.‘I work so that their sacrifice will be remembered.’

Read more: Metro »

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