St Leonards-Mayfield School for girls in East Sussex recently received a visit from Holocaust survivor Professor Ladislaus Löb.
His visit and talk to the girls of Year 11 followed on from a visit to the school last year by another camp survivor, Rudi Oppenheimer.
In the hour-long address, Professor Löb, born in 1933, told his story to the girls and staff present. In 1944 Löb and his father were deported to a ghetto before escaping and moving to Budapest. They were selected to join a transport of 1700 Jews on the ‘Kastner Train’, where a Hungarian Jewish lawyer named Rudolf Kastner arranged for the purchase of 1700 Jews from one of the greatest architects of the Sho’ah, Adolf Eichmann.
Ladislaus recounted that, despite the purchase being made, the group were routed to Bergen-Belsen and remained there for five months before being transported to Switzerland.
Following his talk, the girls and staff were given the opportunity to ask Professor Löb questions. Many topics were covered, including how he felt about Germans and Hungarians, whether he had to have a tattoo in Belsen and what advice he could give the girls for their future.
His lecture, while relevant to the girls’ GCSE studies in Religious Studies, also had much wider applications, both to their academic and also ethical and moral education.