Survivor speaks of Nazi horrors - Ex concentration camp inmate lost 35 family members

STUDENTS at a Dundalk school were visited by a holocaust survivor who spoke about his imprisonment at a concentration camp.

STUDENTS at a Dundalk school were visited by a holocaust survivor who spoke about his imprisonment at a concentration camp.

Tomi Reichental told his incredible life story to students at Dundalk Grammar School on Thurday, December 16 last.

"In the last couple of years I realised that, as one of the last witnesses, I must speak out," said Mr Reichental.

Tomi told 80 fifth and sixth year history students that one of his earliest memories was watching his grandmother sew the Star of David onto his school uniform.

Tomi showed the students a replica badge and displayed where it would have been situated on his clothing.

He said he lost 35 members of his family in the Holocaust and gave his account of being imprisoned as a child at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany.

Tomi was nine-years old in October 1944 when he was rounded up by the Gestapo in a shop in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Along with 12 other members of his family he was taken to a detention camp where the elusive Nazi War Criminal Alois Brunner had the power of life and death.

On April 15, 1945, British forces liberated Bergen-Belsen. The British found around 60,000 prisoners in the camp, most of them seriously ill. Thousands of corpses lay unburied on the camp grounds. During its existence, approximately 50,000 people died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp complex including Anne Frank and her sister Margot, both of whom died in the camp in March 1945. Most of the victims were Jews.

"His story is a story of the past. It is also a story for our times," said Ms Herve.

"The Holocaust reminds us of the dangers of racism and intolerance, providing lessons that are relevant today especially in schools with generation who are about to step into a world of economic instability and uncertainty. We must never forget. It was a true honour to have Tomi Reichental visit."

l Tomi Reichenstal pictured with, from left, Ms Matthews, Ms Eveson, Dundalk Grammar School Vice Principal Ms Meagher