A WOMAN who survived the horror of a Second World War concentration camp will recall her experiences during a special event in Wirral later this week.
Joanna Milan will speak to students at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton on Wednesday, February 5, as part of a commemoration event for Holocaust Memorial Day.
Joanna was born in Berlin in 1942. The following year, her father was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where he was killed.
Only months after her father was captured, she and her mother were taken from their home to Theresienstadt, a concentration camp 50 miles outside Prague, where her mother later died from tuberculosis, leaving Joanna orphaned.
She was liberated by the Russians in May 3, 1945, and later flown to England, where she was later adopted by a Jewish couple living in London.
Joanna's testimony will be followed by a question and answer session, and the event will also include a presentation by students from St. Anselms College on a recent visit to Auschwitz.
Students will also make the Statement of Commitment, during which the Yahrtzeit candles will be lit and remain lighted throughout the ceremony.
Cllr Tony Smith, Wirral's cabinet member for children and family services, said: "It is a privilege for us to once again welcome Joanna Millan to speak to our young people.
"Her testimony remains a powerful reminder of the horrors so many experienced during the Holocaust.
"We are grateful to the Holocaust Educational Trust for co-ordinating the visit and hope that by hearing Joanna's testimony, it will encourage our students to learn from the lessons of the past."
The national date set for Holocaust Memorial Day is January 27, the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.
Every year since its inception as a national day of commemoration in 2001, Wirral has held its own local commemoration within two weeks of Jan 27.
Wirral's commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day will be formally opened at 1.15pm by the Mayor, Cllr Dave Mitchell.
He said: "Since the Holocaust, many incidents of genocide have taken place including at Cambodia, Rwanda and Bosnia.
"It will be through young people learning about such atrocities that we can prevent them in the future."
Karen Pollock MBE, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust said: "The Holocaust Educational Trust educates and engages students from across the UK, from all communities about the Holocaust and there can be no better way than through the first-hand testimony of a survivor.
"Joanna'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."