Prince Charles meets Kinder survivor during Belfast Synagogue visit
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Prince Charles meets Kinder survivor during Belfast Synagogue visit

Heir to the throne greets 82-year old Czechoslovakia-born Ruth Kohner, who told the prince of how the rescue mission 'saved our lives'

The Prince of Wales talks to Ruth Kohner, 82, who was part of the Kindertransport in 1939  during a visit to Belfast Synagogue on the second day of the Royal couple's visit to Northern Ireland.  Photo credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales talks to Ruth Kohner, 82, who was part of the Kindertransport in 1939 during a visit to Belfast Synagogue on the second day of the Royal couple's visit to Northern Ireland. Photo credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Prince Charles used his official visit to Northern Ireland this week to call in on Belfast’s Jewish community, where he met an 82-year old woman who came to the UK on the Kindertransport.

Ruth Kohner told the Prince of Wales how she escaped from Czechoslovakia in 1939, on the eve of the Second World War, as he visited a synagogue in north Belfast.

“It saved our lives,” said Kohner about the Kindertransport rescue effort which brought 10,000 Jewish children to the UK by train in the months leading up to war.

“It must have been very difficult for my parents, who had travelled ten days by train, to bring me and my sister to escape, but they saved our lives.”

Kohner spent the war at a farm in Millisle, near Belfast, along with other rescued children, and went on to run a family clothing business, but said her father lost many relatives in the Holocaust, including his own mother, who he had to leave behind.

HRH The Prince of Wales meets Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis as he arrives at the Belfast Hebrew Congregation. Photo by Aaron McCracken

The heir to the throne has been a longstanding friend of the UK’s Jewish community and takes a personal interest in Holocaust education. In November, he attended a reception for the Association of Jewish Refugees, marking the 80th anniversary of the Kindertransport, where Holocaust survivors sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to him.

While Charles met the Jewish community, the Duchess of Cornwall visited a homeless charity complex beside a section of Belfast’s longest peace wall which divides the mainly Unionist/Loyalist lower Shankill Road from the mainly Nationalist/Republican Falls Road.

Ruth Kohner, 82, who was part of the Kindertransport in 1939, met the Prince of Wales during his visit to Belfast Synagogue. Photo credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

The Chief Rabbi welcomes HRH to Belfast

The Chief Rabbi welcomes HRH The Prince of Wales to the Belfast Synagogue for an event to mark the installation of the 'Torn From Home' stained glass windows. #RoyalVisitNI

פורסם על ידי ‏‎Chief Rabbi Mirvis‎‏ ב- יום רביעי, 22 במאי 2019

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