In Their Words: Surviving the Holocaust. Finding Hope is a podcast series created by the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme aimed at preserving the voices of those targeted by the Nazis and their racial collaborators during the Holocaust.
Each episode features an in-depth conversation with a Holocaust survivor, tracing their journey from childhood to present day. The speakers have previously participated in United Nations Holocaust commemorative events around the world, sharing their stark testimonies as a warning to the world on the dangers of hate, and their journey toward hope.
Episode 1. Vered Kater
Vered Kater knew from childhood that she would become a nurse. Not due to any special knowledge of the profession, but a desire to provide to others the type of intense care that delivered her from the Holocaust. Before Ms. Kater built a legacy as a health worker, traveling to developing countries to administer aid to the needy, her early years in her native Holland were spent in hiding. Living under cover with her “war parents'', who shielded her from the Nazis, Ms. Kater was spared from the horrors of con-centration camps.
She shared her testimony during the annual observance of the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the Holocaust at the UN Information Center in Yangon in 2019, and now gives an in-depth recount of her story of survival. She speaks to Natalie Hutchison for this first edition of In Their Words: Surviving the Holocaust. Finding Hope from her home in Jerusalem, with a message of warning on discrimination that goes unchallenged.
Episode 2. Veronica Phillips
At the time of this interview, Veronica Phillips revisited the question, why and how she survived the Holocaust whilst some six million other Jews did not. Ms. Phillips passed away on 24 February 2021 at the age of 94, shortly after we first published what will now stand for posterity as her final interview, in which she graciously shared her deeply personal account of survival.
As a teenager, Veronica endured appalling treatment, designed to kill Jews and other groups systematically targeted under the Nazi regime. After more than 70 years of silence, she began to share her testimony in hopes future generations would learn from her tragedy. For this podcast episode, she told Natalie Hutchison her moving story once more; from narrowly escaping death in the gas chambers of Ravensbrück, to rebuilding her life after the war.
Episode 3. Halina Wolloh
When Halina Wolloh was four, her grandfather hid her from the Nazi regime – behind a stack of textiles. When her father decided to move the family from the Warsaw Ghetto, she learned The Lord’s Prayer in Polish, in case her identity was questioned. As a young woman, she lived for years with her Jewish identity invisible to the world, finding refuge in the homes of non-Jewish Europeans in Poland, until finding safety across oceans.
Today, the 84-year-old mother of three and grandmother to six lives in Peru, where she and her parents arrived more than seven decades ago. Having previously participated in a UN Holocaust remembrance event, Mrs. Wolloh sat down with Natalie Hutchison to detail her testimony in this edition of In Their Words: Surviving the Holocaust. Finding Hope about how, even in the darkest of times, expressions of humanity emerge.
Episode 4. Broni Zajbert
Still from interview by United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Broni Zajbert was six years old when Nazis forced his family into the Łódź Ghetto where he, his brother and parents witnessed the hunger, sickness and death that preyed upon Jews in their living quarters. For five years, the family of four watched anti-Semite SS officers deport thousands of Jews on trains, never to return. Mr. Zajbert’s parents did everything in their power to keep their family alive, despite the nightmarish conditions in which they lived. At 87 years old, Mr. Zajbert hopes this stain on humanity can serve as a warning to future generations on the dangers of hate and discrimination in all its forms. His testimony has served as the basis of Spanish-language Holocaust educational materials developed by the United Nations educational agency, UNESCO, in Mexico.
Episode 5. Rabbi Arthur Schneier
Holocaust survivor Rabbi Arthur Schneier has spent decades leading efforts toward religious freedom, human rights and coexistence around the world. After seeing his own synagogue in Austria go up in flames, Rabbi Schneier lived through the Holocaust in Hungary before beginning his quest for coexistence. He shares his inspiring story with Natalie Hutchison in this last instalment of In Their Words: Surviving the Holocaust. Finding Hope podcast series.
This podcast series was produced by Natalie Hutchison for the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme with the support of the News and Media Division in the Department of Global Communications and United Nations Information Centres in Yangon, Pretoria, Lima and Mexico City.