Feb 7 2013 by Ian Proctor, Harrow Observer
A SURVIVOR of the Holocaust retold and explained her terrifying ordeal to schoolgirls.
Gena Turgel spoke to 180 pupils at Bentley Wood School for Girls in Bridges Road, Stanmore, on Tuesday last week during a visit organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust.
The Polish-born MBE recipient recalled how in 1943 the Nazis liquidated the Jewish ghetto in Krakow where she and her family lived and sent them to the nearby concentration camp in Plaszov.
The 89-year-old spent time in the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp before being transported to Germany with her mother to the Bergen-Belsen camp where she worked in the hospital.
Among the British Army liberators of the camp in 1945 was a soldier, Norman Turgel, who Gena married six months later.
Janice Howkins, headteacher at Bentley Wood High School, said: “It was a privilege for us to welcome Gena Turgel to our school and her testimony will remain a powerful reminder of the horrors so many experienced.”
Mrs Turgel’s speech was followed by a question and answer session with the year 10 pupils to help them further understand what she endured.
Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: “Gena’s story is one of tremendous courage during horrific circumstances and by hearing her testimony, students will have the opportunity to learn where prejudice and racism can ultimately lead.”