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A resident at a Whitstable care home shares her story as a Holocaust survivor

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To mark Holocaust Memorial Day, a resident at a local care home has shared her story of surviving the Holocaust after her family was sent to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

Holocaust Memorial Day was marked at Care UKs Harrier Lodge with 96-year-old resident Rose sharing her experiences and lighting candles in memory of the six million Jewish people that perished during World War II.

A resident at a Whitstable care home shares her story as a Holocaust survivorRose was born in Hungary in 1924. In 1927 the family moved to Romania, where her father had his own textile manufacturing company. In 1940 the area was annexed and attitudes towards Jewish people worsened. People started shouting insults and throwing stones at them and they had to wear yellow stars on their clothing.  All their rights were taken away from them and their businesses and possessions were confiscated. In 1944, the family was forced to the Ghetto in the town and then onwards to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Rose’s two brothers had already been drafted to the Hungarian Army and sent to the Russian front.

On arrival at Auschwitz-Birkenau many people, including Roses parents, one of her sisters and her three-year-old nephew were sent to the gas chambers and murdered. Rose and her two other sisters were sent to hard labour jobs, and her youngest sister died from malnutrition and fever.  During her time at Auschwitz-Birkenau Rose endured horrific ordeals including experimentation.A resident at a Whitstable care home shares her story as a Holocaust survivor

Four months after she arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Rose was taken to the Salzwedel Slave Labour Camp in Germany to work in an underground munitions factory. The camp was liberated by the US Army and when the war had ended the British Army was drafted in to help repatriate the displaced people there. This is where Rose met her husband John, a Sergeant in the Reconnaissance Corps. On 11th May 1946, the couple married in Hannover, Germany, and returned to England where they settled permanently shortly after.

Diane Collins, Home Manager at Harrier Lodge, said: This Holocaust Memorial Day was especially poignant for everyone here at Harrier Lodge. To hear Rose’s story first-hand was incredibly powerful, as was the moment the team and residents lit candles to remember the millions of persecuted people who were killed in the Second World War.

“Rose was keen to share her experiences as a European Jewish person who lived through the Holocaust. She also wanted to remember her family and friends who died at the concentration camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, and we were honoured to be able to support her.

“Listening to Rose’s story moved everyone at the home and helped us to mark this important day.”

Harrier Lodge is a purpose-built care home which has been designed to enable residents to live active and fulfilled lives, while also promoting independence. The home provides full-time residential, nursing and specialist dementia care for up to 65 older people in Whitstable, and incorporates space for hobby and leisure activities, including its own cinema, hairdressing salon and café.

For more information about Harrier Lodge, please call Customer Relations Manager, Theresa Mead, on 0203 918 2873, or email 

For more general information on Harrier Lodge, please visit

Open to new residents

Thanet Way, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 3FS

Harrier Lodge

CQC Rating: Good
  • Residential care
  • Dementia care
  • Nursing care
  • Nursing dementia care
  • Respite care
  • End of life care
  • Day club

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