Liberation of Belsen remembered by Holocaust survivor

A retired fashion designer has recounted her experiences as a teenage Jew in Hungary when she was deported to the infamous concentration camps of Auschwitz and Belsen during the Second World War.

Mady Gerrard was speaking to local MP David Davies from her home near Chepstow to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Bergen-Belsen where it is estimated that 50,000 people died as a result of disease, starvation, neglect and torture.

Originally from Keszthely in Hungary, Mady was just 14-years-old when Nazi soldiers entered her village and rounded up Jewish families before deporting them to Auschwitz. After narrowly avoiding execution, Mady was moved to various death camps and ended up in Belsen towards the end of the war.

Recalling the horrific living conditions, Mady said that as soon as she arrived at Belsen “we realised this was the end”. But rescue came in the form of British soldiers led by a young SAS officer named Lieutenant John Randall.

Sixty years later, in an amazing twist, Mady was reading an article about the liberation of the camps in the Daily Telegraph and recognised a picture of Lt Randall. The pair were subsequently reunited and became firm friends for 11 years until he died in 2016.

The full story is shown in a video recorded by Mr Davies here

Mr Davies said: “At this rather difficult time, it is worth remembering the infinitely worse suffering which those Holocaust survivors went through.

“It was a privilege to hear Mady’s story. She wants to share her experiences so that we learn the lessons of history. We should never be complacent about anti-Semitism.”