Generations: Portraits of Holocaust Survivors Imperial War Museum, London

Generations: Portraits of Holocaust Survivors
Imperial War Museum, London

6 August 2021–7 January 2022

In partnership with the Royal Photographic Society (RPS), Jewish News, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and Dangoor Education, this new exhibition at the Imperial War Museum London will showcase new works from 13 contemporary photographers, all members and Fellows of RPS, alongside photography by RPS patron, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge. Displayed for the very first time, these powerful photographs capture the special connections between Holocaust survivors and the younger generations of their families. The commissioning process and exhibition were managed and curated by Tracy Marshall-Grant.

The systematic persecution of Europe’s Jews by the Nazis between 1933 and 1945 led to the mass extermination of 6 million lives. For those who survived, its memory and impact were life changing.

Karen Knorr met Sir Ben Helfgott MBE and Arza Helfgott for the first time in April 2021 during Covid-19 restrictions and was invited into their home to photograph them. Immediately made to feel at home, Knorr wanted to represent and celebrate the love between the couple at home in London.

Sir Ben Helfgott MBE (born 22 November 1929) is a Polish-born British Holocaust survivor and former champion weightlifter. He is one of two Jewish athletes known to have competed in the Olympics after surviving the Holocaust. Initially sent to Buchenwald, Helfgott survived the Holocaust and was among around 750 youngsters sent to England after the war after being liberated from Theresienstadt. He formed a part of the initial 300 arrivals and thus of the group known as The Windermere Children. For 46 years Ben Helfgott  has been Chairman of the ’45 Aid Society, an association formed by and for the boys and girls who arrived in England in 1945 from Nazi Europe – 732 souls in all. The members have rebuilt their lives and live in many different countries. They consider themselves part of one large family and are in close touch with one another.