“I also cannot forget the cold that penetrated our bones,” recalled Holocaust survivor Mala Tribich.
By World Israel News Staff
A March of the Living delegation from Britain embarked on its first educational journey since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, the organization said on Monday.
The March of the Living is an educational program that brings individuals from around the world to Poland to study the history of the Holocaust.
The British trip included four Holocaust survivors and some 80 participants, both Jewish and non-Jewish and ranging in age from 20 to 90. They visited Berlin, Ravensbruck women and children concentration camp and Bergen-Belsen.
One of the survivors to accompany the mission was Mala Tribich, who returned to Ravensbruck concentration camp for the first time since she was imprisoned there in December 1944 when she was 14 years old.
“I remember the camp was very organized,” she recalled in a testimony shared with the delegation. “We got here and our heads were shaved. We all looked the same. Within seconds, they took our identity. This is one of the hardest moments I can remember.
“I also cannot forget the cold that penetrated our bones,” she continued. “There was no way to warm up. The winter in Germany was freezing. People died next to me from cold and hunger. We got half a slice of bread and soup every night in the evening.”
She said that it “hurts a lot” to go back to the camp, but she felt it necessary in order to help remember those who were not as lucky as her to survive.
“As the generations go by, this is the way to make sure the victims are not forgotten, and the memory continues,” Tribich said. “I am hopeful that this is what it will be … that they will never be forgotten. I have now completed the cycle of visiting the most horrible places in my life.”
Another survivor, Alfred Garwood, also accompanied the group. He was a 4-year-old child in Bergen-Belsen.
“I survived in part because my mother managed to breastfeed me,” Garwood said. “It was a miracle. There were a lot of children in the camp. We played near the corpses. We suffered quietly. The ones who cried were killed. My friends died next to me.
“I’m coming back here today to tell the story of myself, my family, and many victims,” he concluded. “That memory will never be forgotten.”
Other Holocaust survivors on the mission included Eve Kugler and Harry (Chaim) Olmer. The survivors are all from Britain.
During the visit, a ceremony was held with the participation of Colonel Dickie Winchester, Royal Artillery, representing the role of the British Army in the liberation of Bergen-Belsen, and in the role of 64th Anti-Tank Regt Royal Artillery and 113th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment. Colonel Winchester was joined by Lieutenant Colonel Simon Ledger (Ret.) of the 13th/18th Royal Hussars, the lead Armoured Regiment nearby in 1945 that were informed of the horror of Bergen-Belsen and their Reconnaissance Troop was sent to assess the camp.