Auschwitz survivor and educator Iby Knill dies after contracting Covid

The 98-year-old authored two autobiographies and was a key member of the Holocaust Survivors' Friendship Association


Holocaust survivor and author Iby Knill, 98, has died in Leeds, aged 98, after contracting Covid.

Raised in Bratislava, she survived Auschwitz, an armaments camp and a death march to Bergen-Belsen, being liberated by the US Army in 1945.

It was through working as an interpreter for the Allied Military Government that she met her future husband, British officer Bert Knill.

Mrs Knill spent the last part of her life as an active member of the Leeds-based Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association (HSFA), which raises awareness about the consequences of hate and discrimination and whose programme reaches pupils throughout the North.

Her wartime experiences were recorded in two autobiographies, The Woman without a Number (2010) and The Woman with Nine Lives (2016). And in 2017, she received the British Empire Medal for services to Holocaust education and interfaith cohesion.

HSFA director Dr Alessandro Bucci said: “Iby was open-minded and truly inclusive. She was an Auschwitz and death march survivor but she was also an author, a loving mother and our matriarch, friend and supporter. Through each of these roles, Iby sought to produce positive change in the world.’

Adding his tribute, AJR chief executive Michael Newman said that “once met, Iby was not easily forgotten and she will be fondly remembered by all who knew her at the AJR. We’re pleased to have been able to support Iby in her final years through our Homecare scheme.”

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