Kindertransport survivor Harry Bibring, who was sent from Nazi-occupied Austria to Britain by his parents in 1939, died on Thursday, aged 93.
Harry and his sister were one of nearly 10,000 child refugees who came to the UK through the Kindertransport prior to the outbreak of war in September 1939.
His parents hoped to join them in the UK, however Harry’s father died of a heart attack in 1940 while his mother was killed in Sobibór death camp in German-occupied Poland in 1942.
Working with the Holocaust Educational Trust, Harry made hundreds of visits to schools and universities nationwide to educate pupils about the horrors of the Nazi genocide.
One his final public appearances saw him attend the burial at Bushey New Cemetery of six unknown Jews murdered in Auschwitz earlier this month.
Olivia Marks-Woldman, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, paid tribute to Harry Bibring follwoing his sad passing: ‘We are shocked and deeply saddened by Harry’s sudden death. Only last week, at an event to mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2019, he held a room full of civil servants in rapt attention as he shared his personal experiences of coming to the UK as a child on the Kindertransport. His humour and humanity shone through as always. He will be greatly missed for his tireless work educating about the Holocaust. We wish long life to his family.”
Karen Pollock, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) also paid tribute to Harry as an “unstoppable” educator.
“Harry settled here, built a life and started a family. In later years, he travelled the country, sharing his testimony with thousands of young people. He wanted them to learn from the past.”
“Up until the very end, Harry determinedly shared his testimony with such energy and vigour, which was so typical of him.”
“Harry was part of the HET family and we will miss him terribly. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. We will do all we can to ensure his story and legacy continues to be shared across the country.”
Watch Harry Bibring appear on Sky News for Holocaust Memorial Day, alongside Holocaust Educational Trust Chief Executive, Karen Pollock:
Michael Newman, head of the Association of Jewish Refugees, said: “The AJR has lost a great friend in Harry, someone who was a passionate educator about the Kindertransport and the Holocaust. He had a great sense of duty, and his enthusiasm and positivity touched the lives of many. He will be deeply missed and fondly remembered.”
The National Holocaust Centre in Nottingham tweeted: “It is with great sadness we share the news that Kindertransport survivor Harry Bibring has passed away. Harry was a longstanding member of our Holocaust survivor team of inspirational speakers who educate young people. Harry will be sorely missed.”
Reacting to his sad passing “everyone at World Jewish Relief was devastated to hear the news of Harry Bibring’s passing” Rafi Cooper Director of Communications, said..
Harry was a true mensch who commanded the admiration and respect of all who met him. The way that he told his story, informing and educating about both the Kindertransport and the Holocaust, will inspire thousands of children and adults to take on his legacy.”
Last year, we were privileged to have Harry talk to World Jewish Relief’s Berlin to London cyclists, including his son Michael and grandson Lee, prior to them taking on the epic commemorative ride that emulated his journey.”
His story served as inspiration to many of the riders and kept them pedalling when the going got tough.”
We will never forget the end of the ride, when Harry, well into his 90s, jumped onto a tandem bike pedalled by his son Michael, and rode triumphantly through the finish arch at London’s Liverpool Street Station marking the end of the 600 mile journey. The delight on Harry’s face was a joy to behold and the memory of this moment will remain forever in our hearts.”