A free exhibition at Epping Forest District Museum tells the story of Holocaust survivors sent to Holmehurst Hostel in Loughton. Through video testimonials and object from the Jewish Museum and the Imperial War Museum, the exhibition, which runs until Sun 4th September, explores the life of survivors within the concentration camps, alongside tales of their liberation and survival after the war.

Dr Ellis Spicer, who grew up in the Epping Forest area, curated the exhibition. Whilst doing her PhD at the University of Kent on Holocaust survivor communities in Britain, she came across references in Martin Gilbert’s book about the Boys of Windermere who found themselves in Loughton. As part of her research she interviewed three of the four surviving ‘Loughton boys’ still living in the UK: Ben Helfgott, Harry Spiro and Janek Goldberger, as well as delving into the ’45 Aid Society Journal.

The exhibition, which was originally due to open in May 2020 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII but was postponed due to the pandemic.

In recognition of the major role that Holmehurst Hostel played in the story of British Jewry, it has been given Blue Plaque status and there will be a formal event on Sunday 5th September which will see members of the 45 Aid Society coming together to see the exhibition.

To find out more about The Boys: Holocaust Survivors in the Epping Forest District exhibition runs until contact Epping Forest District Museum on 01992 716882 or www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk/museum



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