Child Survivors' Association of Great Britain-AJR
Founded in 1995, the CSAGB-AJR is a self-support group for child survivors of the Holocaust and their partners. Membership is open to those of Jewish heritage who lived under Nazi occupation during the period Sept 1939 - 1945 and who were sixteen years and under at the end of WWII. Our membership includes children who survived in ghettos, in hiding, on the run and in camps. They were born in places as far apart as Antwerp, Berlin, Krakow and Kiev. In 2007 the CSAGB became a special interest group of the AJR.
World Federation of Jewish Child Survivors of the Holocaust and descendants
The CSAGB-AJR is a member of the World Federation and has two representatives sitting on its Governing Body. Five of our members attended the 2012 conference in Cleveland, Ohio.
European Association of Jewish survivors of the Holocaust
The CSAGB-AJR is a member of the European Association which includes large groups based in areas formerly behind the Iron Curtain. The President of this organisation represents our interests on the Claims Conference.
In addition to offering our membership emotional support, we run a series of cultural and social activities throughout the year. Over the past 12 months, these included subjects ranging from a talk by a member on her time as a social worker and a memorable afternoon when a full house of members brought an object and spoke of its importance to them. We had a successful outing to the exhibition of “The Windermere Boys” held at the Jewish Museum in Manchester. Two of our members – actually girls – were part of this group brought to the UK post-war.
20th anniversary celebration
120 members and guests attended a special reception to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Child Survivors Association of Great Britain on Thursday 12th June 2014 in the State Rooms, House of Commons by kind permission of Mr Speaker, The Rt Hon John Bercow MP.
Following a speech by Chairman Joan Salter, outlining the history of the CSAGB and its activities today, guests had the chance to socialise and enjoy the refreshments in the magnificent surroundings of the State Rooms designed by AWN Pugin, the master of the Gothic Revival style, including the red bed on which the monarch was intended to sleep on the night before the Coronation.
Guests included members of The PM’s Holocaust Commission, Lord (Danny) Finkelstein, Henry Grunwald OBE QC and Dame Helen Hyde DBE as well as members of the All Party Political Group on Refugees, Lord Dubs, Louise Ellman MP & Sir Peter Bottomley and colleagues from other communal organsiations.
Membership of the CSAGB consists of those who were children aged sixteen and under at the end of WWII who had survived in countries under Nazi occupation between 1939-1945. It became a Special Interest Group of the AJR in 2007.
To see pictures from the event, click here
Members receive the regular Newsletter which, for those living outside the London area, forms the link with the CSAGB-AJR. Recent topics have included reports on a variety of subjects of interest to our members including reports on the Conferences in Warsaw and Zagreb, a personal account of being one of “The Windermere Boys” highlighting the fact that this group included many girls and an article on some of the events being held in Poland commemorating seventy years on. Also covered are accounts of the fateful months of the summer of 1942 when the mass exterminations of ‘The Final Solution’ were put into effect, as well as book and film reviews.
What originated as a Yiskor book of remembrance and was originally published as “ZACHOR”, was updated and extended and published in 2011 as “WE REMEMBER.” It is an anthology of memoirs, each chapter written by a different child survivor in their own words, which gives insight into one family’s experience during this terrible period in recent history. Click here to read a report of the event at the Wiener Library in February 2012 when the book was launched.
Coming from different nationalities, differing cultural, educational and social backgrounds, and families who practised a variety of religious observances including those who barely identified themselves as Jews, our voices are all individual. Some survived in hiding, some on the run and even under Russian 'liberation'; others survived concentration camps. Together these memoirs cover the whole of the Holocaust experience.
The Author and Historian Simon Sebag Montefiore writes: “These remarkable, heartbreaking stories of children in the holocaust are an important historical record of the tragedy of the Holocaust, a tribute to their humanity and will to survive, a memorial to lost families and vanished Jewish communities – and a fascinating read. I recommend this book strongly.”
The book was so successful that a second edition is now available. Copies are available to buy through the CSAGB-AJR as well as normal retail outlets. The order form can be downloaded here.