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Exhibition – The Auschwitz Landscape – Richard Kolker – 9 August to 30 November 2019

Richard Kolker’s photographs are large scale evocative colour prints of Auschwitz Birkenau in the modern day and include poignant images of the site being reclaimed by natural forces. Railway lines, barrack blocks, gates and ruins,without any human figures present in them. They make for a compelling exhibition that hints at a time before the mass arrival of visitors.

In Conversation – Trevor Avery & Mala Tribich – at The Lake District Holocaust Exhibition, Windermere.

It was a privilege for a packed audience to listen to Mala’s account of her life both before and during the Second World War, and her experiences in Ravensbruck and Bergen Belsen. She also recounted the moment she was liberated and meeting with her brother, Sir Ben Helfgott, in London two years’ later and how, through her persistence, she actually managed to save her life and that of her cousin.

Trevor Avery & Mala Tribich. Photograph by Dayve Ward


Survey and Dig – The Lakes School, Troutbeck Bridge – July 15 – 27

The archaeological survey and dig at the former site of the Calgarth Estate, which had been in the planning stage for many years, finally went ahead thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund. It was known beforehand that the estate had been pretty thoroughly demolished in the 1960’s but there were questions that needed to be addressed about what actually did lie hidden and buried beneath the ground.

In the course of the dig structural remains were uncovered,  and some very emotive personal items that needed special care and attention, the focus had been in the hostels where the child survivors stayed in 1945 on their arrival in the Lake District, and many visitors were able to add more to the archive about the remarkable community that welcomed them.

More very detailed information, including a ‘Dig Diary’ and ‘Dig Reflections’ is available at


BBC 2 Film – Working title ‘The Children

This drama has been commissioned by the BBC and is produced by Wall to Wall (owned by Warner Brothers) and tells the story of some of the 300 child Holocaust Survivors who stayed in the Lake District in 1945.  LDHP have been advisers to the producers for over three years and it is due to be broadcast in early 2020. It will also feature some of the Survivors.

“Written by Bafta Award-nominated screenwriter Simon Block (The Eichmann Show), the story draws on the first-person testimony of some of these now elderly survivors, whose filmed interviews will feature in the film.

The film will also feature Romola Garai (The Miniaturist) as art therapist Marie Paneth, Tim McInnerny (Strangers) as philanthropist Leonard Montefiore, and Iain Glenn (Game Of Thrones).

The roles of the young children will be played by a talented cast of young European actors selected from Polish communities in Germany, London, Manchester and Belfast, as well as from Warsaw.”

Exhibition –  ‘Minia’ – Trevor Avery : 24 May to 3 August 2019

A personal reflection by the artist on the life of a remarkable woman who was one of the Windermere Holocaust Survivors.

Digital Workshops

Another Space/LDHP have been awarded £4,000 by Great Place Lakes & Dales,  towards the cost of providing additional workshops and for the film school linked to activities in 2019/2020.

Prague – recreation of iconic photograph

LDHP were delighted to be invited by the 45 Aid Society to visit Prague and to participate in the recreation of a photograph taken in August 1945.

Jewish child Holocaust Survivors in Prague en route to the Lake District in 1945

This was one of three photographs taken of the children before they were flown from Prague to Crosby-in-Eden.  The photograph was taken in front of the memorial in the Old Town Square and over 240 Survivors, 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation children took part. These included families from both the child Holocaust Survivors who arrived in the Lake District and those from the remaining children who were flown to Southampton and to Northern Ireland in 1945.

Photograph ‘recreated’ May 2019

The Survivors who attended

Amongst the group of participants who attended were Sir Ben Helfgott, Sam Freiman,  Sam Laskier, Icek Alterman and Arek Hersh and who stayed in the Hostels on the Calgarth Estate in 1945. It was an extremely moving and emotional event and particularly when the group started singing in Hebrew and Yiddish as these were the songs their mothers and fathers would have sung.

Walking towards the memorial service at Theresienstadt

After the photograph the group travelled to Theresienstadt for a memorial service.  This was the concentration camp that many of the Windermere Children had been liberated by the Russians in May 1945.

Flight Engineer Reunited with child Holocaust Survivors

On May 6 the 45 Aid Society invited Norman Shepherd to the annual reunion in London.  He was delighted to be reunited with some of the children that he first met and transported on their journey from Prague to Carlisle and, as on the original journey, he presented them all with a bar of chocolate.

RAF Sergeant Norman Shepherd meeting with Sir Ben Helfgott, Harry Spiro and Harry Olmer. © Jewish Chronicle. Photo: John Rifkin


Meeting with Tony Robinson at Ethel Hedley Hospital, Calgarth

Above and Below the Holocaust Landscape

The Lake District Holocaust Project has received a major award of £48,000 from Arts Council England. The two year project titled “Above and Below the Holocaust Landscape” will involve exhibitions in 2019 and 2020 by artists Richard Kolker, Richard White and Lorna Brunstein, and Miroslaw Balka.

These exhibitions coincide with archaeological activities at the former site of Calgarth Estate near Windermere and will explore psychogeographical connections between this Calgarth in the Lake District and its links to locations elsewhere connected to the Holocaust, including Auschwitz and Treblinka.


A long but fortuitous trail, greatly assisted by a descendant of Oswald Short (Liz Walker – Short’s Brothers Commemoration Society), led to a meeting with Norman Shepherd, the only surviving member of the squadron who met and transported the child Holocaust Survivors from Prague to Crosby-in-Eden near Carlisle. Norman, the Flight Engineer, distinctly remembered the children and recounted stories of the flight. LDHP had previously sourced the documents from the registration numbers on the planes and were able to trace the squadron number and many other details.

Norman recounting stories of his many numerous flights

Looking at flight records


Reach Over The Wall

Another Space, which produces and manages the Lake District Holocaust Project, has been awarded £9942 from Awards for All, towards a unique project that will involve young people in a film project based in and around Windermere.

As part of this project, Thomas Gardner & Dylan Kirby-Smith visited Auschwitz 1 & Auschwitz-Birkenau from 17 – 19 February, to take and record images and film for the Lake District Holocaust Project. One aspect of their visit was to capture images of the block where Minia Jay had been detained and a photograph of this is on display in the exhibition.


Photographs by Thomas & Dylan


Visit to Windermere School 

The Lake District Holocaust Project were invited to the Windermere School to hear a conversation between Trevor Avery, Sam Gontarz and his son Robbie. There were many questions from the floor, from invited guests and students of all ages. Sam is a Holocaust Survivor and was at many camps including Auschwitz-Birkenau and Mauthausen.

Sam with Julie King, Director of Student Pathways and Careers, and students from the Senior School

Holocaust Memorial Day

Trevor Avery represented the LDHP at an event at Victoria Hall, Westminster on Sunday 27th January to commemorate HMD.

Random Access Memory – Miroslaw Balka, White Cube, London

Trevor Avery and Rose Smith were invited to the preview of Miroslaw Balka’s exhibition at White Cube, Mason’s Yard, London. “Both spaces of the gallery have been sliced in two by enormous sheets of heated corrugated iron… can’t walk round them or see over the gaps at the top…you’re penned in or maybe kept out.

Balka’s radiators are border walls and prison fences….there are millions of stories here, millions of chunks of history rippling out like waves of heat” (Time Out, London)

The Holocaust Button – 31 January to 30 April 2019

Of the millions of buttons the Lakes School received during the last year (B’s Buttons), 12000 will be placed in a special display and exhibition to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day 2019.  (12,000 represent both a very small fraction of those who died in the Holocaust and of the number of buttons received by the school).

They will be exhibited in the gallery adjacent to the Lake District Holocaust Project’s permanent exhibition ‘From Auschwitz to Ambleside’ on the first floor at Windermere Library from 31st January to 30 April 2019.

Included will be a few of the comments from some of the remarkable letters that accompanied the buttons as they arrived from around the world and will be specially printed to mount on the walls.  These will shine a light on the incredible emotional context and reasons why the buttons were sent; many of the letters and buttons came from Survivors, Kindertransport children,  and their families,  and include those from relatives of soldiers who landed on D Day and who had liberated Belsen.

The exhibition opening hours are limited to library opening hours and as follows:
Monday 10 – 1pm
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 10am – 5pm
Saturday 10am-1pm.

Lake District Holocaust Project wins Heritage Lottery Fund support for archaeology dig at emotional WW2 site.

Another Space, which produces and manages the Lake District Holocaust Project, has received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) as part of a project to carry out an archaeological survey and dig at the site of Calgarth Estate, a unique historical Second World War location with a dramatic link to the Holocaust. It was home to three hundred Jewish child Holocaust Survivors on their arrival in the Lake District in 1945.

The survey and dig will be carried out at the Lakes School in the summer of 2019. The school stands on the former site of the wartime workers housing scheme of Calgarth Estate. The estate was originally built in 1942 to house workers at the nearby Short Sunderland “Flying Boat” factory at White Cross Bay, and was gradually demolished over time until it finally disappeared in the mid 1960’s.

The survey and dig will take place over the summer and autumn of 2019 and will see wide ranging opportunities for people to work closely with one of the country’s leading archaeologists. There are great opportunities to get involved as volunteers to learn about all aspects of excavation, conservation, and exhibition work.

Part of the site of the former Calgarth Estate

The archaeology will be led by world renowned archaeologists Caroline Sturdy Colls and Kevin Colls,  and will include a cutting edge technological survey to identify what remains of the estate lie hidden below ground. This will be followed by excavations that will focus on uncovering the remains of hostel accommodation on the estate that slept single workers from the factory.

Caroline Sturdy Colls is an acknowledged expert in her field and is Professor of Conflict Archaeology and Genocide Investigation at Staffordshire University. She completed the very first archaeological surveys of the former extermination camp at Treblinka (Poland), the sites linked to the Nazi slave labour programme in Alderney (the Channel Islands), and sites in Serbia. Kevin Colls is the lead Archaeological Project Manager at the Centre for Archaeology at Staffordshire University and has directed and published archaeological projects throughout the United Kingdom and Europe. He has 20 years’ experience in research and professional development-led archaeology and his specialist subjects include archaeological field techniques, urban archaeology and forensic archaeology.

Another part of the land where the school was sited on the former Calgarth Estate

Calgarth Estate stood from 1942 to around 1964. It was home to two hundred families and three hundred single workers. It had a school, shops, entertainment hall, and laundry. The single storey houses were nicknamed “Shorts Palaces” by the residents and had indoor bathing and central heating facilities, still rare for working class people in the Lake District in the 1940’s. The estate was eventually demolished and Lakes School opened on the site in 1967, and most of the former residents were rehoused on the then newly built Droomer Estate in Windermere.