Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet Holocaust survivors during visit to former concentration camp

Royal couple lay stones on memorial to the dead and view gas chamber at Stutthof camp in Poland


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the Stutthof concentration camp in Poland this morning, where they met Holocaust survivors.

As many as 110,000 inmates were imprisoned in Stutthof, east of Gdansk, before the camp was liberated by the Allied Forces in May 1945.

The visit was part of the royal couple’s five-day tour of Germany and Poland.

The Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) arranged for the Duke and Duchess to meet Manfred Goldberg and Zigi Shipper, both 87, who recounted the ordeal of life in Stutthof, where they were both imprisoned.

Both men settled in north London after the war, and regularly visit schools across the UK to share their testimony.


During their visit, the Duke and Duchess were shown discarded shoes, clothing and other personal items, once belonging to the prisoners and taken from them on arrival at the camp. They were also shown the gas chamber used to murder those who were too sick to work.

Mr Shipper who survived four years in the Lodz ghetto, as well as deportation to Auschwitz-Birkenau, before being transported to Stutthof, said: “It is so important that young people know what happened.

“But there aren’t many of us left. I hope today’s visit will remind the world what happened.

“Everyone has heard of Auschwitz Birkenau but it’s so important for people to hear about camps like Stutthof. It means so much to me that we were able to come back to the camp today, together.”


The royal pair paid their respects by placing stones by the camps’ Jewish memorial, accompanied by Mr Shipper and Mr Goldberg, who recited the El Maleh Rachamim, the Jewish memorial prayer for those who died.

Karen Pollock, chief executive of HET, said it was an “incredibly poignant and moving” visit, adding the Duke and Duchess’ attendance “sends a powerful example to the world”.

She said: “I have no doubt that this visit will leave an indelible mark – and meeting Zigi and Manfred, who endured such unimaginable horrors and had the strength and courage to return here today – is a moment they will never forget.

“We are deeply grateful to their Royal Highnesses for shining a global spotlight on our cause today. More than anything, they will carry this with them for the rest of their lives.”

Stutthof was originally created as a prison camp for Poles in 1939. In 1944, as the Nazis retreated, tens of thousands of Jews were forced into labour at what became a brutal concentration camp. 

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