Holocaust survivors to visit Solihull school

Anne Frank’s stepsister to be guest of honour at Solihull School film screening.

Anne Frank’s stepsister and concentration camp survivor Eva Schloss will be Solihull School’s principal guest of honour at a special film screening it is hosting later this month to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day.

The leading independent school will co-host the European schools’ premiere of No Asylum: The Untold Chapter of Anne Frank’s Story in partnership with the Anne Frank Trust UK on Monday, January 21st.

Vienna-born Eva will tell her remarkable story at the screening, detailing how her family went into hiding in Holland after the Nazi invasion, before they were betrayed, arrested and sent to concentration camps, where her father and brother were murdered.

The film, which reveals new information about the struggle Anne Frank’s family had to obtain visas and flee the Nazis, is Solihull’s second Holocaust-related premiere in two years, following the screening of Bergen-Belsen survivor Tomi Reichental’s Condemned to Remember in January 2018.

Eva, 89, who was a childhood friend of Anne Frank and has written three books about her experiences of the Holocaust, is a co-founder of The Anne Frank Trust UK and was awarded an MBE for services to education in 2012.

Solihull School headmaster David EJJ Lloyd said: “We are honoured to host this event as part of our ongoing commemoration of Holocaust victims and survivors. Gaining an understanding of what they endured is an important facet of life at our school.

“Anne Frank’s family’s protracted struggle to escape the horrors of the Holocaust is laid out in stark detail in this film, reaffirming at every turn a need that remains to this day – for society to reject all forms of prejudice and discrimination. No Asylum is a very timely reminder of what can happen when we don’t.”

Eva will be present on the day, along with two further Holocaust survivors – Tomi Reichental, whose two most recent films premiered at the school and Birmingham’s only Holocaust survivor, Mindu Hornick, who was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in 1942. Nanette Blitz-Konig, a Bergen-Belsen survivor from Amsterdam now living in Brazil, has recorded a video message for the screening.

Also attending is John Wood, the son of Lieutenant-Colonel Leonard Berney and subject of the film. Berney was centrally involved in the liberation of Bergen-Belsen in 1945, and his company were the first British troops to witness the horrors of a Nazi concentration camp first-hand. He then became commandant of the vast rehabilitation camp for ex-prisoners and spent three months supervising the efforts to treat the sick and dying, after Belsen had to be burnt to the ground by the British forces to help prevent the spread of typhus.

Local dignitaries, charity representatives, members of the Solihull and Birmingham Hebrew congregations and many other faith groups from across the West Midlands will also lend their support at the screening.

“To be invited to host such an important Holocaust film premiere for the third time recognises the passion and commitment we at Solihull have to honour those who were silenced and provide platforms for all those who speak out against prejudice and discrimination,” added Mr Lloyd.