Holocaust survivor Larry Mandon told his story to Doncaster schoolchildren and warned: “This must never be allowed to happen again.”
Larry, who now lives in Doncaster, visited Doncaster Museum to address youngsters on Holocaust Memorial Day about the horrors which befell his family.
The 83-year-old was born in Hamburg to a Jewish family. His father, one of Hitler’s political opponents, was murdered on Larry’s sixth birthday, changing his world completely.
Larry attended a Jewish school and, in November 1938, staff and pupils were imprisoned by the Nazis.
Shortly afterwards Larry’s mother was warned that they were on a list of people to be transported to a concentration camp. Luckily for Larry he was smuggled out of Germany nine months before the outbreak of World War Two. He was one of 10,000 brought over under a refugee programme.
He was placed with a family in Kent and was eventually sent to boarding school.
He went on to become a singer and performed all over the world, working with Ivor Novello and Noel Coward. When he tired of the theatre, he studied psychology and became first a marriage counsellor and then a family psychotherapist at the Doncaster Royal Infirmary.
In between his various careers, Larry found time to write a book about the Holocaust. Stranger in my own town drew on his own experiences and was made into a film in Germany.
Larry said: “I have never met anyone of my generation in Germany who has ever taken responsibility for what happened.
“I say to these people: it wasn’t ‘them’, it was you, because you allowed it to happen.
“The Holocaust had a profound effect on my life and my family and it is important for young people to learn about what happened.
“We must never allow these things to happen again and the only way to do this is to take responsibility for who we are and what we are.”