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Kate Middleton hails ‘powerful’ conversations with Holocaust survivors on royal engagement | Royal | News

The Duchess met with two Holocaust survivors on Tuesday while visiting the Lake District. Pictures of the royal showed her sailing while speaking about the experiences survivors faced during World War 2.

On September 21, Kate was in the Lake District where she took part in various outdoor activities.

During the visit, she took a boat trip with two of the “Windermere Children”, a group of 300 child Holocaust survivors who came to stay in the Lake District in 1945.

The children stayed for a period of recuperation following what they experienced in concentration camps and ghettos of Nazi-occupied Europe, at Wray Castle.

Writing on the Kensington Royal Twitter, the Duchess shared how much the visit meant to her.

She wrote: “I wanted to be able to meet some of the survivors to hear their stories.

“It was so powerful to hear how their time in the Lakes, enjoying outdoor recreation, sport and art therapy, allowed them to be able to begin to rebuild their lives and eventually, their families here in the UK.”

She also said: “Thank you Ike and Arek, two of the ‘Windermere Children’, for sharing your powerful stories today.”

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Icke Alterman and Arek Hersh told Kate as they sailed in Lake Windermere how they were brought to the Lake District after the horrific life they had endured in the concentration camps and ghettos of Nazi-occupied Europe.

One of the survivors told the Duchess they had “lost all my family” in the war.

Mr Alterman said they went swimming and into mountains even though they did not, at that time, “speak one word of English”.

He added: “It was a wonderful life for six months. We were free and we did what we wanted.”


In August, the Duchess contributed two pictures to an exhibition honouring Holocaust survivors at the Imperial War Museums in London.

For “Generations: Portraits of Holocaust Survivors,” Kate and 13 fellows from the Royal Photographic Society photographed Holocaust survivors and their descendants.

She said in a statement: “While I have been lucky enough to meet two of the now very few survivors, I recognise not everyone in the future will be able to hear these stories first hand.

“It is vital that their memories are preserved and passed on to future generations.”

In January, Kate met with Holocaust survivors and youth ambassadors from the Holocaust Educational Trust in honor of Holocaust Memorial Day via video call.

The Duchess spoke with survivors Zigi Shipper and Manfred Goldberg, two men whom the duchess and Prince William met with four years prior and who have known each other since 1944, having met at the Stutthof concentration camp.

She said during the call: “The stories you both have shared with me again today, and your dedication in educating the younger generation about your experiences and the horrors of the Holocaust shows extreme strength and such bravery.

“It’s so important and so inspirational, so thank you so much once again for sharing your stories with me and for all the work you do in sharing your experiences.”

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