'It was a determination to go on, irrespective of what had happened'

Jan Imich: “As far as I can see from meeting others nowadays, since the exhibition opened, since I met quite a few people, it was a determination to go on, irrespective of what had happened to all of us before. Us, I see the world now; very few lessons have been learned by the, by, by the whole of the, of the world, no matter what religion people are, what nationality. And we now have a rise in anti-Semitism, racism, anti, whatever, everything, anti-everything, and we simply have to make sure that the young people know what happened in those days, and indeed what is happening nowadays, of course. And simply hope against hope, sometimes I feel, that it will stick in their minds and that they will remember. I always tell that the school children, saying that I hope that some of, that most of you will remember what I said and try to bear it in mind in the future.”

Jan Imich was nine years old when the Second World War broke out. As a Jewish Pole, he was arrested and imprisoned in a series of concentration camps. During his time in one camp, he was forced to work at the crematorium, hauling coal to fuel the furnace.  After the war he was sent to Britain where his father, a soldier, was based and after struggling to overcome the effects of his experiences began a new life. 

Speaking on Holocaust Memorial Day 2017, he explained what kept him going in the years after he survived the camps and his hopes and fears for the future.

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Permanent Display

The Holocaust Galleries

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