HRH The Duchess of Cambridge visited the Lake District Holocaust Project in September 2021. The Duchess asked to meet some of the survivors, having previously learnt about the story of the Windermere Children.
We were delighted to arrange for her to meet with two of The Windermere Children, namely Ike Alterman and Arek Hersh (and their respective partners Diane and Jean), on “Osprey”, one of the iconic vintage steamboats in the Windermere Jetty collection. During the boat trip, she heard about their stay at Calgarth and how they started to heal from the trauma of their childhood experiences.
“I wanted to be able to meet some of the survivors in person to hear their stories; about how they went on to create their own companies, write a book and, to this day, still sneak in the odd round of golf.
It was so powerful to hear how their time in the Lakes enjoying outdoor recreation, sport and art therapy, allowed them to be able to begin to rebuild their lives and eventually, their families here in the UK.”
“She was absolutely delightful. We laughed, she asked questions and she wanted to know the answers. We talked about her kids and my kids, and how we love the lakes. I have two girls and two grandchildren. I told her what happened to me during the war and when I arrived and how I progressed in business later”.
Ike Alterman, Mirror
“It was a new life for us, no home, no parents, nobody.”
Arek Hersh MBE, Telegraph
The Duchess of Cambridge afterwards met with a group of Second and Third Generation to discuss what the legacy of the Lake District’s connection to their families meant to them.
“We had no family so they became our family. For us, Windermere was this mythical place.”
Dr. Trevor Friedman, son of a Windermere Survivor.
With many thanks to the Royal Household for the photographs from a truly memorable day…