Surviving the Holocaust
1192. Hephzibah Rudofsky
1193. Zahava Kohn
Hephzibah Rudofsky and Lady Zahava Kohn, from London, are the creators of ‘Surviving the Holocaust’, an interactive educational programme.
Zahava’s first-hand testimony of Holocaust survival together with the second-generation perspective of her daughter Hephzibah has been presented to tens of thousands of secondary school pupils from all backgrounds and creeds across the UK and Germany. When the Nazis invaded Holland, Zahava’s family were first sent to Westerbork transit camp and then to Bergen Belsen Concentration Camp. Her brother was sent into hiding in Holland. Seventy years later, after her mother passed away in 2001, Zahava discovered an archive of documents and memories her mother had collected during the war. Encouraged by her daughter, Hephzibah, Zahava embarked on a journey of self-discovery, breaking a lifelong silence about her experiences. Through the use of extraordinary artefacts and documentation, ‘Surviving the Holocaust’ offers pupils a first-hand account of what it was like to live through and endure the Nazi era and concentration camps, as well as the recovery, rehabilitation and life after the war.
In a personal letter to Hephzibah, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Through ‘Surviving the Holocaust’ you have created a unique educational programme sharing your mother’s powerful story and inspiring young people to learn more about the devastating effects of the Holocaust. You should feel very proud of how, together with your mother, you are ensuring that this important moment of history is never forgotten.”
In a personal letter to Zahava, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“By sharing your own experience and testimony as a Holocaust survivor you are giving young people a deeply personal insight into what happened to your family. Your work to educate and commemorate is vitally important and will help to ensure that this dark moment in history is never forgotten.”
Lady Zahava said:
“It has been very special collaborating with my daughter, Hephzibah over the years. I would not have felt able to do so without her at my side. There are fewer and fewer survivors from these terrible times and as long as I am able, I want to give my testimony so that the youngsters today can be informed about what happened during this period in history. I am one of the lucky ones.”
“The impact of our presentations is profound. Pupils often say how the experience of hearing my mother’s testimony has more impact than any amount of reading textbooks, or hours spent in the classroom.
“My mother’s story is extraordinary and uplifting – a story of courage, positivity, dignity and strength – full of hope and living life to the full and showing the spirit of resilience – a phenomenal message for all future generations.
“We are very proud to receive the Points of Light Award. Our work with young people means so much to us since this generation will be the last to hear live testimony and meet and engage with a Holocaust survivor.”