Portraits and testimonies of UK survivors of Nazi atrocities captured in new book

For more than two years, Writtle, alongside curator Jan Marsh and project manager Jacki Reason traveled across the United Kingdom to photograph and record the personal testimonies of 101 survivors of Nazi atrocities.

Thirty of the photographs were initially exhibited at City Hall in 2007 and now, more than a decade later, Writtle has brought the collection together in a new book, “Portraits For Posterity.”

Writing in the foreword, project manager Reason explains that the idea came about after visiting the Holocaust exhibition at the Imperial War Museum for the first time and realizing that one of the video testimonies showed a familiar face.

“He was Roman Halter, whom I met every day in the swimming pool, and who lived five minutes away,” Reason said.

Fellow swimmer Marsh, who worked at the National Portrait Gallery, suggested creating a portrait of Halter and it wasn’t long before Reason enlisted the help of her neighbor, Writtle, a freelance photographer for The Times.

When the proposal was put to Halter, his response was, “Yes, but why just me?” From there, he introduced the group to his wife Susie, who was a fellow survivor, and put them in touch with both the Holocaust Survivors’ Centre and ’45 Aid Society.

Beginning with one portrait and testimony, they swiftly progressed to 30 and then 100 – “adding one more for luck,” writes Marsh.

But despite the success of the exhibitions, Writtle always felt the collection would be “perfect as a permanent memorial in a book,” not only to preserve their history for future generations, but also to make it more accessible to the wider public.

“The reasons behind doing this are clear and obvious, in that the book is a reminder to everyone, especially in contemporary times, to look and see what these people had to endure,” Writtle explains.


Subscribe to EJC newsletter

Get EJC's bi-weekly newsletter, including the latest statements and news from the European Jewish communities, direct to your inbox.

European Jewish Congress will use the information you provide on this form to contact you. We will treat your information with respect and will not share it with others. By clicking Subscribe, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.


“The pandemic has created the social conditions where antisemitism thrives,” Moshe Kantor warned at the release of Antisemitism Worldwide report

The significant rise in extremism and the widespread increase in antisemitic conspiracy theories over the last year could have profound effects on Jewish communities in a post-Pandemic world, said EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor at the release of the Annual Report on Antisemitism Worldwide 2020, by the Kantor Center at Tel Aviv University.

EJC President Kantor congratulates Greece on 200 years of independence

EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor congratulated the Hellenic Republic ahead of the 200th anniversary of its independence on March 25th 2021.

EJC welcomes European Anti-Racism Summit

The EJC strongly welcomes the European Commission’s Anti-Racism Action Plan and the holding of the Anti-Racism Summit, a seminal event to enhance anti-racism policies in Europe.

EJC President Kantor praises the Pope for impromptu visit to Holocaust survivor

EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor praised Pope Francis who visited a Holocaust survivor in her Rome apartment to pay tribute to all those who suffered from what he called “the craziness of Nazi populism.”