Holocaust Survivor Talk: Lady Zahava Kohn

Date of past event:

28th January 2019


Holocaust Survivor Talk: Lady Zahava Kohn
Somerville Hall, 4:15-5:30pm

As part of the commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day, Lady Zahava Kohn and her daughter Hephzi Rodofsky came to Queen’s College London on Monday, January 28th.

Their talk centred on the early life of Zahava Kanarek who was born in Palestine but then moved to Amsterdam in the 1930s and was consequently caught up in the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands in 1940. She and her family were captured and sent to Westerbork transit camp in Holland and then later to Bergen-Belsen. They were released in 1945 and in 1958, Zahava moved to London.

In 2001, Zahava discovered her late mother’s archive of documents and memories–precariously collected during the war–which had been hidden away in a small suitcase at the back of her mother’s cupboard. Armed with this mountain of memories, Zahava wove together the story of her family’s wartime experiences in the book, ‘Fragments of a Lost Childhood’ (published in 2009).

Since its publication, Zahava–together with her daughter Hephzibah–has visited schools across the UK and in Germany to talk to young people of all backgrounds about ‘Surviving the Holocaust’. She also regularly contributes to education sessions at London’s Jewish Museum and the Holocaust Centre in Nottingham, and her story has been featured online by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.