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Holocaust survivors' stories on display

By Lynsey Bradford, Town Reporter Sunday 2nd February 2014
Michael Hardy (Barnsley Archive Service) looking at one Holocaust Memorial Day displays in Barnsley Town Hall.

The stories of two Polish men who survived Nazi persecution and lived the rest of their lives in Barnsley are on display at the town hall to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.


The theme of the memorial day is 'journeys', and the displays tell the stories of John Jakob Mendelson (1917-78) and Stanislaw Zasada (1924-2005).


Mr Mendelson was a Polish Jew living in Germany who was sent to a refugee camp near the Polish border.


He escaped to England in 1939 and by 1959, he was Labour MP for Penistone.


Mr Zasada was a Polish Jew who spent two years in Dachau concentration camp in Germany.


At the end of the war he joined the Polish Army and came to the camp at Cannon Hall.


He became a miner, working at Darfield Main.

Holocaust Memorial Day, which was on Monday, marks the anniversary of the 1945 liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.


Coun Roy Miller, the council's culture spokesman, said: “On Holocaust Memorial Day, we can honour the survivors of these regimes and challenge ourselves to use the lessons of their experience to inform our lives today.”


The collections will be on display in the town hall entrance and in the Experience Barnsley Discovery Centre throughout February.


A short ceremony was also held by Unite community members on Wednesday where candles were lit and there was a reading of Pastor Martin Niemöller’s famous statement 'First They Came.'


Joe Rollin, Unite community co-ordinator for Yorkshire, said: “The ceremonies are not only being held to ensure that those who died in the holocaust are not forgotten but also to remember the millions who have died in subsequent acts of genocide.”


The centre's blog links to the Holocaust Trust Memorial Day website containing videos of survivors and their families - visit:

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