Shoah survivor, 89, among first to be given Covid-19 vaccine

Eve Kugler said she was ‘very excited and happy’ to get the jab


Eighty-nine-year-old Shoah survivor Eve Kugler became one of the first to receive the Pfizer Covid-19 jab as the NHS launched its mass vaccination programme across the UK this week.

Speaking before being administered the jab at the Royal Free on Friday, Ms Kugler urged the public to get vaccinated and said it is "giving us life".

“I am so very excited and happy to be getting this vaccine. I’ve even told my friends and my children in America about it.

“I think it is the right thing to do and I urge everyone to take it up. It is giving us life,” she said. 

Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said Holocaust survivors had “managed through the toughest of circumstances” during the pandemic.

“Our beloved and brave Holocaust survivors have been shielding, and in many cases they have been alone, but typically of our survivors, they’ve managed through the toughest of circumstances and inspired us all. 

“It is wonderful that Eve has received the vaccine and hopefully many more survivors will follow,” she said. 

Ms Kugler, who was born in Halle in Germany, witnessed the Kristallnacht pogrom aged seven before later fleeing to France on a forged visa in June 1939.

There, she survived under Nazi occupation before escaping to the US in 1941, where she lived in foster homes with her sister Ruth. Their parents survived four concentration camps in France, and the family was reunited in 1946.

She continues to share her testimony with thousands of young people through the Holocaust Educational Trust, receiving a BEM last year for her services to Shoah education.

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