LDHP Permanent Exhibition “From Auschwitz to Ambleside”


Child Holocaust Survivors in Prague en route to the Lake District in 1945

Child Holocaust Survivors in Prague en route to the Lake District in 1945

This wonderful exhibition reminds us what should NEVER happen to mankind again. Congratulations Windermere”. P. McIntyre, Australia.

I have taught the Holocaust in Secondary Schools for 10 years – but was unaware of the Windermere Boys. What a great project – keep up the good work”. C. Burgess, London

Powerful, moving and emotional. Their journey was one of fine courage, their survival an inspiration”. Mr & Mrs Pascall, London.


The Lake District Holocaust Project and the permanent exhibition “From Auschwitz to Ambleside” are situated within Windermere Library.

The exhibition tells the story of the three hundred child Holocaust Survivors who came from Eastern Europe to the Lake District in 1945 in order to begin their recovery from years of unimaginable suffering.

It really is a unique and inspiring story of recovery and resilience that links the horrors of the Holocaust with the beauty of the Lake District.

You can find the exhibition on the First Floor and it is accessible by a stairway or lift.

Entrance to the exhibition is free and visitors are welcome.

The exhibition opening hours are
Monday 10 – 1pm
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 10am – 5pm,
Saturday 10am-1pm.

We look forward to seeing you in the future.

new map

The locations marked on this OS map of 1958 are Windermere Library, where the Lake District Holocaust Project is now located in Windermere village, and slightly to the north can be seen the site of the ‘lost’ village of Calgarth Estate. The Jewish children stayed on this former wartime workers housing scheme in 1945.

Logos for website


‘A Place on Earth – The Auschwitz Album’

Photograph from ‘The Auschwitz Album’ : courtesy Yad Vashem, Israel

This exhibition is now on view next to the permanent exhibition  “From Auschwitz to Ambleside”  from now until the end of November.

‘A Place on Earth’ at Lake District Holocaust Project in Windermere is from Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Centre, and tells the background story to a photograph album that shows in detail the arrival of a transport of Jews to Auschwitz-Birkenau.  It is the first time this has been exhibited in the UK.

Many of the children and youngsters who came to the Lake District in the summer of 1945 had passed through Auschwitz at some point in their horrific journey through the Holocaust so this exhibition is of great significance to the Lake District Holocaust Project.

The photos in the album were taken at the end of May or beginning of June 1944 by Nazi officials.

The photos show the arrival of Hungarian Jews in the summer 1944. For this purpose a special rail line had been extended from the railway station outside the camp to a ramp inside Auschwitz Birkenau itself. Many of the photos in the album were taken on the ramp and also show aspects of the selection process.

Those considered fit for work were sent into the camp, where they were registered, deloused and distributed to the barracks. The rest were sent to the gas chambers.

This exhibition offers some explanation and context for The Auschwitz Album, which is the only surviving visual evidence of the process leading to mass murder at Auschwitz-Birkenau. The album is a unique document and was donated to Yad Vashem by Lilly Jacob-Zelmanovic Meier in 1980.

It is assumed that the album was prepared as an official reference for a higher authority, as were photo albums from other concentration camps.

Photograph from the ‘The Auschwitz Album’ : courtesy Yad Vashem, Israel


B’s Buttons – A Holocaust Memorial Project at the Lakes School, Troutbeck Bridge

Students at the Lakes School have been working on a Holocaust Memorial Project.  The school is built on the site of the former Calgarth Estate, where the children arrived in 1945.

A Year 10 student came up with the idea of collecting buttons. She perceptively noted that buttons are all different and individual, just like the people who were killed in such awful circumstances.  ‘B’ felt that a memorial should recognise this individuality and the Head of History Teacher, Laura Allen, together with the students, decided that they would collect one and a half million buttons to commemorate the children who died in the Holocaust.

We are delighted to announce that not only has this number been collected and counted but has far exceeded the initial amount. The response has been phenomenal, with buttons sent from all corners of the world.

Details will be announced in the coming months as to the final number and designs for a memorial.  We would like to extend our very many thanks to all who donated, sent and counted the buttons.



Holocaust Memorial Day 27 January 2018

50 counting volunteers, including students, local councillors, members of the Lakes School Governing Body, representatives from the LDHP, Tim Farron MP, and members of the public from the local area gathered at the Lakes School to take part in counting the buttons.  By the end of the day 180,500 buttons had been counted!  Many thanks to all concerned.


Counting Buttons at the Lakes School

Laura Oram, Teacher & Robbie Gontarz, son of Holocaust Survivor

Laura Oram, Teacher with Robbie Gontarz, son of Holocaust Survivor

Tim Farron MP






Holocaust & Memory Reframed 

The aim of the project ‘Holocaust and Memory Reframed’ was to produce a series of international art installations and initiatives based at the Lake District Holocaust Project over two summer and autumn periods in 2016 and 2017.

The exhibitions look at work that explore aspects of Post Holocaust arts and culture and relate to “the representation of the unrepresentational”.

As part of this project, “The Memory Quilt” and “Breath Becomes Air” – were displayed in the Summer and Autumn of 2016,  followed in July and August 2017 by “Hidden Threads”.


Fourth & final exhibition for this project: “yromem”Miroslaw Balka

We are delighted that one of the World’s leading contemporary artists, Miroslaw Balka, agreed to conclude this remarkable two year programme with a powerful installation entitled “yromem”.  The exhibition in The Lake District Holocaust Project premises on the first floor of the Windermere Library building, is open until November 4,  2017.

Miroslaw lives in Otwock, Poland, a town that, before World War 2, had a very large Jewish population and his work remains rooted in the place of his birth.  He deals with both personal and collective memories, especially in relation to his Catholic upbringing and the collective experience of Poland’s fractured history.

Miroslaw has exhibited in leading galleries throughout the world, including the Turbine Hall in the Tate Modern, the Venice Biennale and recently in a retrospective “CROSSOVER/S” at the Pirelli Hangar Bicocca in Milan.

Sir Nicholas Serota, former head of Tate Modern and now Chairman of Arts Council England, describes his work as both “beautiful and unsettling.  He suggests that “there could be no finer or appropriate context for one of his exhibitions than the Lake District, the spiritual home of English Romanticism, which also has connections to one of the defining moments of human history, the Holocaust”.

mapL 1999/2010 video, color, silent, 45sec, looped screen, steel, salt

mapL 1999/2010 video, color, silent, 45sec, looped screen, steel, salt


Time spent in the company of survivors is time spent in the company of those who experienced and witnessed events that are indescribable and yet these witnesses hold out their hands to us and try to explain, and we hold out our hands to them in the attempt to understand.

We know that they speak not only for themselves but also for those lost in the Holocaust……

As time passes then the question of how we engage with these time led changes is inexorable and we are duty bound to both honour the testimonies and to be a witness on behalf of the witnesses.

The ways in which we can do this will evolve along with the ways that people will engage with the testimonies. It is in this way that the context within which we negotiate with these testimonies will, in a quite profound way, be reframed.

A vital truth that lies at the core of these witness testimonies will remain though. We forget at our peril.

For further details of this and all  the exhibitions, please visit our Arts and Events pages.


Hidden Threads – Heather Belcher

The third exhibition Hidden Threads in the series for Holocaust & Memory Reframed  displayed the work of Heather Belcher, a leading Textile Artist, from 6 July to 27 August.

Heather, who works mainly in felt, based two of her large scale pieces on a coat which was donated to Platt Hall Gallery of Costume in Manchester.  The coat was made by Mayer Hersh one of the child Holocaust Survivors in 1963.  Heather visited Platt Hall and took detailed photographs and measurements of the coat for reference for her pieces The Naming & The Named.

Heather examining the coat made by Mayer Hersh : courtesy Platt Hall, Manchester

Coat & Label : The Naming & The Named


The Alfred Huberman Writing Award

Nearly 500 entries were received from both primary and secondary schools both in Cumbria, Lancashire and as far afield as Surrey and Sussex. The standard was exceptionally high.

The entries were read by officers of the Lake District Holocaust Project and sent to Catherine Edmunds for her judgment and finally to the Huberman family.  Catherine is not only a writer and poet but also the daughter of one of the child Holocaust Survivors who came to the Lake District – Jana Tanner – and has written the story of her mother’s experiences in the Second World War in her book My Hidden Mother.


Catherine thought that “the best writing was superlatively good”.  The decisions were unanimous and Shirley Huberman and her children, Maurice, Brian & Caroline made the final placement decisions.

More details can be seen at Alfred’s website http://alfredhuberman.com/

The First prize winning entries for each category can be found on our Education page on this site.


Visit by Arek & Jean Hersh  to the Lakes School – July 2017                   

Arek, one of the child Holocaust Survivors, made a return visit with his wife Jean to talk to some of the students at the Lakes School and to be filmed for a broadcast in 2018.  Arek regularly visits the Lakes School on the former site of the Calgarth Estate where he stayed in 1945.

Arek & Jean Hersh

Arek talking with Eleanor Hicks & Velma Smith, former residents of the Calgarth Estate

Arek reading the plaque and next to the Oak tree planted by Ben Helfgott in 2015


In Harmony – Arza Helgott

An exhibition of hand carved sculptures by Arza Helfgott were displayed in the Lake District Holocaust Project’s gallery adjacent to the permanent exhibition that tells the story of the child survivors, from 1 June to 2 July 2017.

Arza exhibits both an ability to work with, and enormous sensitivity, to work with a variety of materials including different types of wood and stone. Her efforts are the same as those confronted by all sculptors, which is to search to find the balance between the opposing energies that they have to deal with; to recognise the inner energy that the raw material contains and then to confront the dichotomy that inner energy can only be released by intervening with it through carving and sculpting, and in so doing disrupting that very same, internal energy.

Arza folder1

Arza’s husband is Ben Helfgott, one of the child Holocaust Survivors and they visited the exhibition together with family and friends.

Arza & Ben

With family & friends


The Auschwitz Dandelion

Trevor Avery was awarded an individual Arts Council grant for an exhibition, workshops and publication.  The Taraxacum Kok-saghyz was grown at an Auschwitz sub-camp at Raisko to produce rubber.

An exhibition by Trevor Avery & Rose Smith was displayed in the gallery from 6 April to 26 May 2017.

Text on window – Eva Tichauer – I was No.20832 at Auschwitz

Display cabinet with sample of rubber from Kok-saghyz dandelion


UK Memorial Commission

Trevor Avery & Rose Smith attended meetings at Manchester Town Hall & Downing Street to view and discuss with others the shortlisted designs for a new Memorial & Learning Centre to be built next to the Palace of Westminster.

No decisions will be made until Autumn 2017,  but the Holocaust Commission Committee that was set up to carry out the conclusions of the Holocaust Commission Report 2015, are seeking a wide variety of views.

For more details please see


’45 Aid Society 72nd Reunion

We were delighted to attend the reunion in London on 1 May.  The Reunion is always well attended by as many of the remaining child Holocaust survivors who could make the event, their children and grandchildren.

This year the Reunion celebrated the liberation of the children and their arrival in Windermere.

A new and very moving film that tells something of the children and the Society they formed, can be seen on the Society’s website at


Holocaust Memorial Day

A special oak tree was commemorated at a poignant ceremony to remember the child Holocaust Survivors.  The ceremony was held in the grounds of the Lakes School at Troutbeck Bridge as the school stands on the grounds of the former site of Calgarth Estate where the children stayed for several months in 1945.

The oak tree was grown from an acorn gifted to Trevor Avery on a visit to Oswieçim, several years’ ago.  It was planted in the grounds by Ben Helfgott, an Honorary President of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and one of the children who came to the Lake District.

Among the attendees were Sam Laskier and his friend Sam Gontarz, both survivors of the horrors of Auschwitz, as well as families and friends of other survivors.  Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron who also attended the ceremony said “This tree and this place are a reminder that we must all stand up for the values of respect, tolerance and decency, and fight prejudice and intolerance.  The Kaddish was read by Michael Brown.

Trevor Avery with Sam Laskier

Trevor Avery with Sam Laskier

Tim Farron with Sam Gontarz and his grandson

Tim Farron with Sam Gontarz and his grandson

Michael Brown reciting the Kaddish

Michael Brown reading the Kaddish

The tree in bloom

The tree in bloom




’45 Aid Society Reunion

We were delighted to attend the 71st Reunion of the ’45 Aid Society in London in May 2016.

The ’45 Aid Society – Holocaust Survivors’  was set up in 1963 by the first child Survivors who arrived in the UK in 1945 – some of whom stayed in Windermere .  “It’s mission has been to remember those who were lost, to help their members who needed help;  to teach the lessons of the Holocaust;  to spread the message of tolerance; and to help others more widely”.


Those Survivors who were able, together with their children and grandchildren,  attended the Reunion.  A special presentation was made to Ben Helfgott, who is now retiring after many years as Chairman of the Society.


Holocaust Survivors’ Centre

In response to their kind invitation, we visited the Holocaust Survivors’ Centre in North London, where a number of the children, who had stayed in the Lake District in 1945, were able to meet with us.  It was a rare opportunity for those at the LDHP Project to talk with these Survivors, their wives and second and third generations.

The Holocaust Survivor’s Centre is the only centre in the UK that was designed specifically for Holocaust Survivors.  It provides a programme of  “social, cultural and therapeutic events”.



Holocaust Memorial Day 

On the 27th January we marked HMD with a special event at The Lakes School at Troutbeck Bridge.  The school is on the site of the former Calgarth Estate where the children stayed in 1945.

A moving tribute to Alfred Huberman, one of the remarkable child Holocaust Survivors who came to the Lake District directly from the concentration camps in 1945, played a central role in HMD 2016 commemorations in Windermere.

Over seven hundred children, staff and guests at the Lakes School saw the launch of the Alfred Huberman Writing Award for schools as part of the HMD 2016 commemorations.

A further ceremony was held at the home of the Lake District Holocaust Project in Windermere and was attended by people from far and wide.

More details under Education



2015  has been a very important year for our charity Another Space and particularly for the Lake District Holocaust Project with a series of important dates and events.

The Holocaust Commission Report was published on 27 January 2015.
The Commission was set up to “examine what more should be done in Britain to ensure that the memory of the Holocaust is preserved and that the lessons it teaches are never forgotten”.

In the Report’s Executive Summary the Lake District Holocaust Project was cited as one of a small number of “significant regional exhibitions” where “in all places commemoration is informed by learning, with profound results…….. The Lake District Holocaust Project has a highly respected exhibition at Windermere Library.  Auschwitz to Ambleside describes the story of 300 child Holocaust survivors who arrived in the Lake District in 1945″.



The 70th anniversary of the arrival of the child Holocaust survivors in the Lake District on 14 August 1945.  
On 13 August 2015, we were delighted to welcome a large number of particularly special guests to an event in the grounds and building of the Lake District Holocaust Project at Windermere Library to commemorate the seventieth anniversary of the children’s arrival.

It was especially poignant that some of the remaining survivors were able to attend with their families, alongside wives and sons and daughters of those who have now died.  Other guests included Sir Eric Pickles MP (the Prime Minister’s new Special Envoy for post Holocaust issues), Suzanne Bardgett (Head of Research IWM London),  Jonathan Arkush (President Board of Deputies of British Jews), Paul Anticoni (President World Jewish Relief), Helen Myer (Holocaust Commission, Downing Street), David Southward MBE (Cabinet Member Cumbria County Council), Councillor Chris Hogg (Mayor of Kendal)  and many more.

Moving speeches were made by Sir Eric, Suzanne Bardgett, Ben Helfgott MBE (Chairman of 45 Aid Society) and Trevor Avery (Director of Another Space). The guests were then invited to look at exhibits and films, both in the permanent exhibition and those especially commissioned for the event.  These included the ’45 Aid Society Memory Quilt for the Boys’, an installation by the international and acclaimed artist, Miroslaw Balka and ‘Flowers of Auschwitz’ an exhibition by Trevor Avery & Rose Smith.

Sir Eric Pickles MP with survivors

Sir Eric Pickles MP with survivors

For more photographs, please visit the  Events section


Memory Quilts

One of four memory quilts - © 45 Aid Society/Julia Burton

One of four memory quilts – © 45 Aid Society/Julia Burton

We were delighted to have the opportunity at the event to exhibit the four Memory Quilts made by Survivors and their families to commemorate the 70th anniversary of their liberation.  The quilts will again feature in a special exhibition in Spring 2016 at the LDHP building.


Miroslaw Balka installation
Miroslaw Balka visited LDHP in 2015 and directed a unique installation consisting of two pieces “Nacht und Nebel” and “Towards the Light”.  Balka is an international artist whose work has been exhibited throughout the world and in galleries including Viana Art New York,  Dvir Tel Aviv, Obra Social La Caixa Barcelona and Tate Modern London.


Film 'Nacht und Nebel' in the permanent gallery. © Miroslaw Balka & White Cube

Film ‘Nacht und Nebel’ in the permanent gallery. © Miroslaw Balka & White Cube

This commission was supported by the Arts Council England



Flowers of Auschwitz
The “Flowers of Auschwitz” exhibition was timed to coincide with the 70th anniversary commemoration and continued until October.  Flowers were planted in part of the garden at Windermere Library by over 50 school children from Windermere and plinths designed by Trevor Avery placed next to the flowers.  An exhibition by Rose Smith was displayed in the touring gallery.

Part of the garden showing the plinth designed by Trevor Avery. © Another Space

Part of the garden showing the plinth designed by Trevor Avery. © Another Space

Flowers of Auschwitz exhibition. © Another Space

Flowers of Auschwitz exhibition. © Another Space

This exhibition and project were supported by Arts Council England.  For more photographs of this and the Miroslaw Balka pieces, please visit the Arts section.



From Calgarth to Windermere – the Droomer Estate 
We welcomed residents and families from Windermere and the South Lakes to the preview of an exhibition at the end of the project in June 2015.

The story of the estate has its roots in the wartime housing scheme of Calgarth Estate which had originally been built to house the workers of the Sunderland Flying Boats.  At the end of World War Two, the three hundred child Holocaust Survivors had been brought to Calgarth where they stayed for several months.  Eventually the residents were rehoused on the  Droomer Estate in Windermere.

We interviewed many of the local residents, some remembering the move from Calgarth, many describing their school days and life in Windermere from the early 1950s.

Some visitors to the exhibition. © Another Space

Some visitors to the exhibition. © Another Space

Part of the exhibition. © Another Space

Part of the exhibition. © Another Space

Further information about the project is available at




Holocaust Commission 2014

On the 27 January 2014 the Prime Minister, David Cameron, launched a Holocaust Commission. The Commission will work to ensure Britain has a permanent memorial to the Holocaust and educational resources for future generations.

We attended one of the largest ever gatherings of Survivors of the Holocaust in the UK, which took place in London on 5 May 2014. A special consultation event was part of the Holocaust Commission that has been set up with cross party agreement. LDHP attendance in London followed our attendance at a similar event at the Imperial War Museum North in early spring.

The event in London was organised to discuss what form future memorialisation of the Holocaust should take in Britain and was hosted by Natasha Kaplinsky with many politicians and special guests in attendance.

Film by Trevor Avery

Others in attendance included people who had survived the concentration camps, individuals who escaped to Britain on the Kindertransport and those who were hidden from the Nazis as children. Our friend and supporter, Ben Helfgott, Chair of 45 Aid Society and one of the children who came to Windermere, is a key member of the Holocaust Commission and we were delighted to meet with him and his family at the London event.

Ben & Maurice Helfgott

Ben & Maurice Helfgott

Maurice Helfgott talking with Trevor Avery

Maurice Helfgott talking with Trevor Avery