Ian Austin

Independent for Dudley North

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Holocaust survivor to visit Dudley for annual Holocaust memorial event

Local MP Ian Austin has invited residents to attend Dudley's annual Holocaust commemoration.

A man who lived through the Holocaust will be visiting Dudley to speak at the town’s annual Holocaust Memorial event on Friday 27th January.

Henri Obstfeld was born in Amsterdam in April 1940. In 1942 German troops began rounding up Jews from the city to send to work camps. He spent most of the war separated from his family with a Dutch couple who took him in as their ‘nephew’ to keep him safe.

The event is organised each year by Ian Austin MP and Dudley College Students’ Union and has become a fixture in the town’s calendar since it was first held nine years ago. Last year hundreds of local people heard Holocaust survivor Susan Pollack describe her horrendous experiences in Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp.

The Commemoration is open to all residents in Dudley and will take place at the Broadway Campus of Dudley College starting at 12:30 and lasting until 2pm on Friday 27th January 2017.

The commemoration is organised with the support of the Holocaust Educational Trust. Students from Bishop Milner Catholic College and King Edward VI Sixth Form College who visited Auschwitz as part of the trust’s ‘Lessons from Auschwitz’ programme will also be speaking in the Commemoration.

It will conclude with the ceremonial lighting of the Candle of Remembrance as the Mayor leads local faith leaders in a minutes silence to honour the victims of the Holocaust.

Ian Austin MP said:

“It is very good of Henri to come to Dudley and share his experiences – it is always an honour to hear from those who survived such horrific events.

“It’s always a very moving and dignified event, which as well as honouring those who died, gives us the opportunity to honour local and national heroes such as Frank Foley, who fought to free Europe from the Nazis. It teaches us where the evils of racism and prejudice can lead and gives us the opportunity to dedicate ourselves to oppose intolerance and hatred.

“The service was really well attended last year and I hope the same can happen this year. Hearing Henri speak will be a real privilege and something I’m sure the veterans, residents and students in the audience will never forget.”

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