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University to Welcome Holocaust Survivor

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The University of Worcester’s History Department will next week welcome Zigi Shipper, a Holocaust survivor, who will be sharing his testimony at the Yelland Lecture Theatre.

The event will be staged on Monday November 18th, in collaboration with the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET), which is this year marking 25 years of working with schools and communities across the UK to educate people about the Holocaust’s historical significance and contemporary relevance.

Mr Shipper, born in Poland to a Jewish family in 1930, was nine when the Second World War broke out, and – along with his grandparents – was forced to move into the Lódz ghetto, which became an industrial centre charged with supplying Nazi Germany.

Following the ghetto’s liquidation in 1944, Mr Shipper and around 7,000 of his fellow Jews were sent to Auschwitz, where a Nazi officer would decide whether or not each individual was fit enough to work – those who were deemed not fit for work were murdered almost immediately.

Mr Shipper was then sent to a concentration camp near the Polish coastal city of Gdansk, where he worked at a railway yard.

The evacuation of prisoners from this camp began in early 1945, when thousands were sent on a Death March – their initial destination being the German city of Neustadt. With the Russian front advancing, the prisoners were then told they would be sent to Denmark.

Before this could happen though, they were liberated by British troops in May 1945.

Three days after liberation, Mr Shipper was admitted to hospital, where he stayed for three months, due to the effects of overeating during those three days after a long spell of malnutrition.

Mr Shipper arrived in the UK in 1947, and now lives in Hertfordshire with his family, and works alongside the HET to educate and raise awareness of the Holocaust.

Dr Wendy Toon, Senior Lecturer in Modern World History says: “We are delighted and privileged to be welcoming Zigi Shipper to the University of Worcester.  As part of our on-going relationship with the HET we hope to offer annual Holocaust related events every November and another series of events on or around Holocaust Memorial Day (27th January).”

The event, which takes place on Monday 18th November between 1 and 3pm, is free and open to all. To reserve your place, email ihca@worc.ac.uk, or for more information, contact Dr Wendy Toon at w.toon@worc.ac.uk