Friday, January 27, 2012

'The Windermere Boys'

Grasmere near Windermere in central Lakeland.
The green and pleasant land that is the English Lakeland

'The Windermere Boys' were young Jewish survivors of the Holocaust of WW2. After the end of the war they came from the horrors of the death camps to this green and pleasant land. There was a life worth living after all. 

For additional information click on 'Comments' below.


Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Additional information

In August 1945 approximately 300 young Jewish boys, survivors of the European Holocaust of WW2, were airlifted to RAF Crosby-on-Eden near Carlisle. They were taken onwards by coach through the green and pleasant land of the English Lake District to the hosel at Calgarth, Windermere. After the horrors of the Holocaust, the war, the loss of close family and friends and starvation these young Jewish boys had found a haven. Or was this Heaven that they had found?

This group of children became known as 'The Windermere Boys'. For once, they had a bed to sleep in with clean, white, bed sheets There was food on the table - and seemingly pleanty of it. This may have been wartime Britain with strict rationing in force. But for some of these children who had known real hunger in the concentration camps regular food on the table was a luxury. Many of the children used to stash food away in case this the time arrived when, once again, there was no food on the table!

'The Windermere Boys' also found freedom, fresh air, green fields and blue skies, at least some of the time - this was Lakeland after all. 'The Windermere Boys' did not stay in Windermere for long. The orphaned boys were found homes throughout Britain, with many finding a home among the Jewish commuity around Manchester and Salford.

But the first days of welcome freedom at Windermere were not forgotten. The Manchester Jewish Museum in connection with the Lake District Holocaust Project, Windermere has collected together an archive of the memories of many of these 'Windermenre Boys'. Contemporary artists in the fields of music, painting, photographs and images have interpreted the collective memory of the 'Boys' to tell their story to the modern world. This was a story waiting to be told and one that should be widely known.

The first showing of 'The Windermere Boys Exhibition' was at the Manchester Jewish Museum in 2012 (29 January - 31 May).

For more information about the Manchester Jewish Museum, click on the following link:
Manchester Jewish Museum

Friday, 27 January, 2012  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

For further information about the project to collect the memories of the Jewish children saved from the Concentration Camps at the end of WW2 click on the links below. Thes include photographs of some of the children who were saved. (NB: Ambleside is at the northern end of Lake Windermere).
'From Auschwitz to Ambleside'

The Orphans Who Survived the Concentration Camps (BBC One programme)

Friday, 27 January, 2012  
Blogger Cathie said...

Thank you for this interesting article. I had never heard of this - goes to show, there always more to learn, and you are a wonderful provider of information !

Sunday, 29 January, 2012  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Click on the following link to read the BBC News page about the 'Windermere Boys', which includes a photographic slide show of some of the survivors:
New life of Holocaust survivors (BBC News)

It should be pointed out there were girls in the group of 300 Holocaust survivors brought to the North West in August 1945 (40 girls and 260 boys). It was harder for girls of this age to survive in the death camps compared to boys. The boys were preferred for slave labour.

Sunday, 29 January, 2012  
Anonymous John M said...

A hero of mine is Arek Hersh who lives near Leeds. He was one of the "Boys" and is still very much active giving talks about his dreadful experiences during the war.I am proud to have introduced Arek to so many school children over the years - his lessons in history are real.

Tuesday, 27 March, 2012  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so interesting just found out my dad was one of the winermere boys horrific unfortunately he died when i was 5 days old ages 38 and never spoke of any of this i would love to know anyone who knew him max gustav lossau photos etc we have very few pics thankyou

Sunday, 14 October, 2012  

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