Survivors reunite virtually for 75th anniversary commemoration

'45 Aid Society members gather online after cancellation of dinner


A virtual reunion for child survivors of the Holocaust who were brought to Britain in 1945 was held on Sunday.

The online gathering replaced the 75th anniversary dinner of the ‘45 Aid Society, which commemorates the 732 orphaned children, including those famously rehabilitated in Windermere.

Families of The Boys, as they are collectively known, came together virtually to light memorial candles.

In a video, the society’s chair, Angela Cohen, pledged that to compensate for the dinner cancellation, “we will celebrate twice as hard” in 2021.

A number of personalities from the entertainment and political worlds had been due to attend the dinner.

One was Dame Esther Rantzen, who told the JC she was “hugely disappointed” that the event could not take place. However, she had found the candle lighting ceremony “particularly moving.

“It is a remarkable symbol of the triumph of hope. It’s very timely now when we’re all concerned about the future of humanity given this awful disease.”

The video also featured highlights of a reunion in Prague in 2019, at which survivor Zigi Shipper said he could not adequately put into words “what it means to me coming here and see[ing] the few of us that are left”. But second and third generation family members were maintaining the link.




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