Gena Turgel, Auschwitz survivor, Anne Frank helper, RIP


This video says about itself:

18 October 2011

Auschwitz survivor Gena Turgel, who went from concentration camp victim to a woman honored by the Queen of England, tells her amazing story on the Shalom TV original series, “Witness”.

Gena Turgel, Holocaust survivor known as Bride of Belsen, dies. Tributes paid to 95-year-old ‘shining light’ who tended to a dying Anne Frank and survived Nazi death camps: here.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Woman who took care of Anne Frank in concentration camp has died

The Polish Holocaust survivor Gena Turgel has died at the age of 95. Turgel from Krakow survived the bombing of Poland, later concentration camps of the Nazis and took care of Anne Frank at the end of the war.

Turgel was in Auschwitz Birkenau and Buchenwald and was then taken to Bergen-Belsen in a cattle car. In the latter days of the war the camp was plagued by typhus. The 22-year-old Turgel arrived there in February 1945 and managed to get permission from the Germans to work as a prisoner in the camp’s hospital barracks.

There she met Anne Frank who was struck by the disease, she later told the BBC. “I washed her face, gave her water to drink, and I still see her face in front of me, her hair and what she looked like.”

Anne Frank died shortly thereafter, probably in February. Bergen-Belsen was liberated on 15 April 1945.

Wedding

Turgel survived the camp together with her mother. After the war Gena Turgel married one of the soldiers who had freed the camp and they went to live in London. Her wedding dress was made from the fabric of a British army parachute. The garment is exhibited in a museum in London.

For the rest of her life, Turgel continued to tell her life story. Her biography I light a candle came out in 1987. “A burning fire is extinguished today, and will never be replaced”, says the director of the British Holocaust Education Fund.

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