“I was a Boy in Belsen”, a talk by Holocaust survivor Tomi Reichental


“I was a Boy in Belsen”, a talk by Holocaust survivor Tomi Reichental

Holocause survivor, Tomi Reichental is expected to draw large crowds to Mitchelstown when he visits for a talk, as guest of Mitchelstown Heritage Society.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013
9:30 AM GMT

Mitchelstown Heritage Society is hosting one of its most important lectures for years - “I was a Boy in Belsen”, is the extraordinary and courageous story of Tomi Reichental, one of only three remaining survivors in Ireland of the Holocaust. Join the society to hear this first-hand account of the darkest period of human history on Thursday, 4th April at 8pm in The Firgrove Hotel Mitchelstown.

In 1944 when Tomi was just nine years old the Gestapo entered a shop in Bratislava as part of an operation to round-up remaining Jewish Communities in Slovakia. Along with 12 other members of his family he was taken to a nearby detention camp. Tomi’s story reflects so many of those who survived, and carried the burden of their survival. For nearly 60 years Tomi, struggled to rebuild his life, settling to marry in Dublin in 1961, never speaking of his experiences. It is only in recent years that he felt the need to share his story with others and bear witness to the Nazi atrocities, in the hope of educating future generations against hatred and intolerance!

The award winning author of a book of the same name; “I was a boy in Belsen”, remained silent for so long "not because I didn't want to, but because I couldn't”. Today Mr. Reichental travels Ireland speaking secondary students and groups, educating them on intolerance and the dangers of racism. In recognition of his important work, he was recently presented with the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Speaking to The Avondhu, Heritage Society chairman, Andrew Dineen highlighted the importance of the talk. “It’s been almost a decade since we had Holocaust survivor Zoltan Zin Colliss to speak to society, he sadly passed away last year. As time goes by the survivors of this horrific period become less and less, our links to this period are slowly disappearing, that is why Mr. Reichental’s talk is so important. We’re delighted he accepted our invitation. I would encourage anybody with an interest in history to attend this unique talk.”

The venue is The Firgrove Hotel, instead of the usual Town Hall as the society expects large numbers. There will be a small cover charge at the door €5 for Society members and students and €8 for non-member’s. All are welcome.

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