Prince Charles commissions Holocaust survivor portraits

The Prince of Wales has commissioned seven artists to paint portraits of seven Holocaust survivors, in a tribute to their passing generation.

“As the number of Holocaust survivors sadly but inevitably declines, my abiding hope is that this special collection will act as a further guiding light,” Prince Charles said.

The paintings will be put on public display in Buckingham Palace.

And the art project will feature in a BBC Two documentary later this month.

As well as providing a reminder of “history’s darkest days”, Prince Charles said the portraits would show “humanity’s interconnectedness, as we strive to create a better world for our children, grandchildren and generations as yet unborn – one where hope is victorious over despair and love triumphs over hate”.

The documentary will feature the survivors’ accounts of what the Nazis did to them and their Jewish families.

Many are now over 90, having been in concentration camps as children and then spent much of their adult lives in Britain.

Paul Benney has painted Helen Aronson, 94, who survived the incarceration of Jewish people in the Lodz ghetto, in Nazi-occupied Poland.

Peter Kuhfeld has painted Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, 96, a musician from a German Jewish family who played in an orchestra of inmates in the Auschwitz concentration camp, also in Nazi-occupied Poland, and was later held at Bergen-Belsen, in Germany.

The other paintings are by Ishbel Myerscough, Clara Drummond, Massimiliano Pironti, Stuart Pearson Wright and Jenny Saville.

Holocaust Educational Trust chief executive Karen Pollock said: “Holocaust survivors endured the very worst.

“To survive the concentration and death camps and 77 years later see their portraits displayed in Buckingham Palace is very special indeed and a poignant and fitting testament to their lasting contribution to this country.”

Prince Charles has made a personal cause of promoting tolerance and building bridges between religions and has often warned against the dangers of extremism and persecution.

And in a speech marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, he said the lessons of the Holocaust were still “searingly relevant”.

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