Portraits of Holocaust Survivors and Their Families

Generations: Portraits of Holocaust Survivors

The Royal Photographic Society (RPS) has coordinated with a number of contemporary photographers to create an exhibition displaying more than 50 photographs of Holocaust survivors and their families today.

Scheduled to open from January 27, the date chosen as International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and available for viewing until March 22, 2022, Generations: Portraits of Holocaust Survivors The exhibition presents new images from a group of contemporary photographers with the aim of highlighting the special bonds between the survivors and the younger generations of their families.

“The systematic persecution of Europe’s Jews by the Nazis between 1933 and 1945 resulted in the genocide of six million people. For those who survived, her memory and impact were life-changing,” RPS wrote.

Through a series of personal and family portraits, the moving images in this gallery present a group of survivors who made the UK their home after beginnings marked by unimaginable loss and trauma. While providing a space to remember and share their stories, these images are a celebration of the rich lives they lived and the special legacy. that their children and grandchildren will carry in the future.”

Generations: Portraits of Holocaust Survivors
Saul Erner, 86, with two granddaughters Evie and Sophia. Saul has a clear memory
He fled to England from Belgium when he was five years old. | Photo by Sian Bonnell HonFRPS

RPS says most of the photos in the exhibition were taken in the spring of 2021 and were taken by a long list of photographers including Frederic Aranda, Gillian Edelstein, Sian Bonnell, Arthur Edwards, Anna Fox, Joey Gregory, Jane Hilton, Tom Hunter, Karen Knorr, Caroline Mendelson, Simon Roberts and Michelle Sank. Additionally, it includes portraits of Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cambridge, patroness of RPS.

Generations: Portraits of Holocaust Survivors
Ebbi Neil was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944 and liberated during a death march in 1945. She did not speak about her experience for 50 years, not even to her children. | Photo by Sian Bonnell HonFRPS
Generations: Portraits of Holocaust Survivors
Eve Coogler, 90, with her granddaughters Eliana, Kadia and Eve. Eve fled with her mother to Leipzig, then to Paris, to central France, and finally to New York. | Photo by Jane Hilton Honferbes

The images shown feature a group of individuals. One photo, for example, shows Freddy Noller who is photographed on his 100th birthday with his wife Frida, daughters Susie and Marcia, and grandson Nadav.

Generations: Portraits of Holocaust Survivors
BEM Freddy Knoller is photographed on his 100th birthday with his wife Frida, daughters Susie and Marcia, and grandson Nadav. | Frederic Aranda’s photo

RPS states that he was born on April 17, 1921, forced to leave his home in Vienna, Austria, and lived as a Jewish refugee in Belgium and France. In 1943, he joined the French Resistance and after his arrest, escaped imprisonment in the camps of Auschwitz, Dora-Nordhausen, and Bergen-Belsen. During the death march from Auschwitz, Freddy took the uniform of a dead French political prisoner to conceal his Jewish identity, and replaced his “yellow star” badge with that of the “red triangle”. The recognition that he was a political prisoner – not a Jew – helped him to survive at Dora-Nordhausen. He moved to London in the 1950s and raised a family through which he would live his story.

Generations: Portraits of Holocaust Survivors
Susan Pollack MBE photographed with her granddaughter Emily. After the war, Susan lived in Sweden and Canada, where she met and married a survivor. | Frederic Aranda’s photo

Other photos show survivors holding important mementos, such as passports and in one case, a teddy bear.

Generations: Portraits of Holocaust Survivors
Ruth Sands was smuggled to France as a child, before she was finally reunited with her parents. She has two sons, two daughters and five grandchildren. | Photo by Gillian Edelstein HonFRPS
Generations: Portraits of Holocaust Survivors
John Hajdu with his teddy bear, who came from Hungary on a trip with him as a refugee to the UK. | Photo by Gillian Edelstein HonFRPS

Catherine Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, took two photos of survivors Stephen Frank and Yvonne Bernstein.

Generations: Portraits of Holocaust Survivors
Stephen Frank, 84, with his granddaughters Maggie and Trixie. Stephen has survived multiple times
Concentration camps as a child. | Photo by the Duchess of Cambridge

This exhibition honors those who fled the Holocaust and celebrates the full lives they have lived in the UK since their arrival. Tracey Marshall Grant, Project Curator for the Royal Photographic Society, says each photograph shows the special relationship between the survivor and subsequent generations of his family, and underscores their important legacy.

Generations: Portraits of Holocaust Survivors
Inge Hyman with her three children James, Peter and Philippa. She ran away with her brother and parents in 1938. | Photography by Anna Fox Honferbes

The photographs, by leading contemporary British photographers, seek to simultaneously inspire audiences to consider their own responsibility to remember and share the stories of those who experienced persecution. It creates a legacy that will allow these descendants to connect directly to return and inspire future generations.”

Generations: Portraits of Holocaust Survivors It opens January 27 at the RPS Show in Bristol.


Image credits: Banner photo title: Ben Helfgott MBE with his grandson Sam. After the war, Ben became a champion in weightlifting. Photography by Frederic Aranda. All other images are added individually, provided by the Royal Photographic Society.

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