Holocaust survivor Tomi Reichental to speak in Galway

'One of the last surviving witnesses to the Holocaust speaks out so that victims are not forgotten'

Tomi Reichental at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

Tomi Reichental at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

Tomi Reichental, a survivor of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, will speak about his experience of the Holocaust in a public lecture in NUI Galway on Thursday [February 8].

Mr Reichental, one of the last surviving witnesses to the Holocaust, will speak at The Ryan Institute Lecture Theatre, MRA 201, Ryan Institute Annexe, NUI Galway at 8pm. The talk will be followed by a Q&A session. Admission is free but early arrival is advised.

Mr Reichental was born in 1935 in Piestany, Slovakia. In 1944 at age nine, he was captured by the Gestapo in Bratislava and deported to Bergen-Belsen with his mother, grandmother, brother, aunt, and cousin. When the camp was liberated in April 1945, he discovered that 35 members of his extended family had been murdered.

He has lived in Dublin since 1959, but only began to speak publicly about his experiences in 2004. Prof Ray Murphy from the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUIG, said: “Tomi is one of the last surviving witnesses to the Holocaust. As such, he feels compelled to speak out so that the victims are not forgotten and we do not repeat the mistakes of the past. One of the lessons we must learn is to respect difference and reject all forms of racism and discrimination.”

In 2015, the board of trustees of the Holocaust Education Trust of Ireland established a scholarship in Mr Reichental’s name. It will be awarded annually in perpetuity to a deserving candidate to enable her/his participation in one of the Holocaust education programmes.

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