Czech mates meet again in London

By Jay Grenby, June 2, 2011

Czech Ambassador Michael Žantovský hosted the annual reunion of Holocaust survivors and their families originating from Ostrava, organised by Kingston Synagogue's Ostrava Scroll Group.

Seventy "Ostrawaks" attended, some travelling from the Czech Republic, Austria, Belgium and Germany.

They were welcomed at the embassy by Kingston Ostrava group chair David Lawson, who reported on its latest research into the lives of some of the city's one-time 10,000 Jewish population.

The group was established five years ago after Kingston was offered a Sefer Torah formerly used in the city on permanent loan by the Czech Memorial Scrolls Trust.

Since then, the team has uncovered remarkable stories of survival of former community members now living as far afield as Australia and Canada.

Among the reunion guests was George Tyrell, who survived Theresienstadt.

Thanking the organisers for a "wonderful afternoon", he added: "One felt so very much at home and among one's own."

Last updated: 2:33pm, June 2 2011