In Harmony – Arza Helgott
There will be an exhibition of hand carved sculptures by Arza Helfgott 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’s husband is Ben Helfgott, one of the child Holocaust Survivors.
The exhibition is on the first floor of Windermere Library. Opening hours : Monday and Saturday 10 – 1pm, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 10 – 4pm.
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 is being displayed in the gallery from 6 April to 26 May 2017.
An exhibit from the display
Display cabinet & photograph of one of the greenhouses at Raisko
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
Tim Farron with Sam Gontarz and his grandson
Michael Brown reading the Kaddish
The tree in bloom
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”.
The third exhibition in this series will be the work of Heather Belcher, one of the country’s foremost fine art textile artists. Her work has a quality of contemplation that sits alongside a profound sense of history, both personal and much broader. “Hidden Threads” will be on display from 6 July to 27 August 2017. More details to follow.
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.