Holocaust survivor gives talk in Kendal

Joanna Millan

Joanna Millan

First published in

HOLOCAUST survivor Joanna Millan spoke about her experiences to year nine history and religious studies pupils at Kendal’s Queen Katherine School.

Joanna Millan, who was born Bela Rosenthal in 1942 in Berlin, was less than a year old when her father was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau where he was killed.

In June 1943, Bela and her mother were sent to Theresienstadt, a concentration camp, 50 miles outside of Prague.

A year later, when Bela was just two, her mother contracted TB due to conditions in the camp and died.

On May 3, 1945, the Red Cross took over control of the camp and Bela was liberated by the Russians.

She was one of six orphans who were flown to England and after living in several children’s homes, she was adopted by a Jewish couple living in London. They decided it would be better to have a less German sounding name and so she became Joanna.

Joanna was told not to mention that she was Jewish or that she was born in Germany and to pretend that she was their natural daughter.

She went on to marry a Jewish man and has three children and eight grandchildren.

She is a magistrate and speaks regularly about her experiences during the Holocaust.

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