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Dublin: 8 °C Thursday 20 February, 2020

Holocaust survivor plants Irish oak tree at Russborough House

The Irish oak tree was planted to remember the 1.5 million Jewish children who died in the Holocaust.

image_4 Source: Holocaust Education Trust Ireland

A WOMAN WHO was imprisoned in a concentration camp as a child has planted an Irish oak tree at Russborough House, Co Wicklow in honour of the children who died in the Holocaust.

Suzi Diamond is a child survivor of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, considered one of the worst camps, where she was incarcerated with her mother and brother.

After believing for years that she was the only survivor of her family, in 2015 Suzi learned she had first cousins in Hungary and in the United States.

At the ceremony on Thursday, Suzi spoke to pupils at Gaelscoil na Lochanna about her experience before they planted trees in honour of the children who died in the atrocities of World War 2.

image_5 Source: Holocaust Education Trust Ireland

Klaus Unger, whose father was one of the German immigrants who arrived in 1939, has been interested in the work of Holocaust Education Trust Ireland (HETI) since its establishment in 2005.

For many years he has wanted to organise a memorial to the Holocaust and, after thinking through many possibilities, has decided to dedicate an Irish oak tree to the memory of all of the children who perished in the Holocaust.

image_1 Klaus Unger, Suzi Diamond, and Eric Blatchford, CEO Alfred Beit Foundation, plant an Irish oak tree. Source: Holocaust Education Trust Ireland

The ceremony occurred on the same day as the launch of The Crocus Project by former education minister Ruairí Quinn.

The Crocus Project is an Irish initiative whereby Holocaust Education Trust Ireland provides yellow crocus bulbs for school pupils aged 11 years and older to plant in memory of the 1.5 million Jewish children who perished in the Holocaust, and thousands of other children who were victims of Nazi atrocities.

During the 1930s, several German and Austrian families came to live in Ireland after being horrified by the actions of the Nazi regime and its ideology.

Read: Netanyahu posts criticism of ‘Ireland’s traditional stance’ on Facebook after Coveney meeting

Read: Government to help launch a Holocaust education project for children

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