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Co-operation with Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association (HSFA) in the UK

Eugene Black (second from right) with pupils

As a result of a visit carried out some years ago by Holocaust Survivor Eugene Black and his daughter Lilian to seek out his records, a close collaboration has developed between the Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association (HSFA) in Leeds and the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen, Germany. “Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Funds in the UK a project could be established to enable the HSFA’s survivor members who settled in Yorkshire, England, to record their stories and make them available to schools, colleges, universities and community groups”, Lilian Black, Chair of the HSFA explained.

In addition the HSFA’s survivor members are training the next generation of volunteer speakers who are using these stories and lessons from the past to fight all forms of persecution today. As part of this project and in collaboration with the ITS, they are making the digital records held about its membership more accessible to the wider community, to provide the evidence base of members’ persecution and the systematic extent of the organisation and bureaucracy which surrounded their persecution.

Lilian Black, Chair of the HSFA said, ‘When our member survivors show their records during their talks, people are just amazed to see the level of detail, the prisoner cards, the transport lists, even sickness records when they were in the camps. This is very thought provoking for young people as they consider the enormity of the Holocaust, how it could have happened, who carried it out and why. Being able to use the records has added a quite different and important evidence dimension to our speakers’ talks. We are just delighted to have developed such wonderful links with the ITS and I would say friendships with the team of dedicated ITS staff as we work together to use the lessons of the past to inform future generations of the dangers of stereotyping and persecution and the importance of democracy’.