The Duchess of Cambridge was reunited on Zoom with two Holocaust survivors she and Prince William befriended in 2017.
To mark Holocaust Memorial Day – the annual commemoration of the victims of the genocide of European Jews by Nazi Germany between 1941 and 1945 – on Wednesday (27.01.21), the 39-year-old royal joined Zigi Shipper, 91, and Manfred Goldberg, 90, on video call, four years after she and her husband were introduced to the friends during their visit to a concentration camp in Poland.
At the start, Zigi joked that he was glad it was just Catherine on the call and not her husband.
He quipped: “I was so happy, you know. I didn’t need your husband. You are the one that I wanted.”
The royal replied: “Well Zigi I will tell him you miss him very much. And he sends his regards as well, obviously … it’s lovely to see you again.”
During their moving conversation on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp, the trio discussed the importance of ensuring the next generation are educated on the horrific events of the Holocaust.
Catherine said: “I will never forget the first time when we met in 2017 and your stories have stuck with me since then. It’s important that these stories are passed on to the next generation.”
Zigi and Manfred share their personal experiences to young people through the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Outreach Programme.
The latter said: “All it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to stay silent.”
Catherine admitted: “All generations have a role to play to make sure the stories we have heard today live on. It’s amazing the work you’re doing. It takes extra effort I know. So well done.”
They were also joined on the call by two students, Maxwell Horner and Farah Ali, who are Holocaust Educational Trust Ambassadors.
Maxwell told the duchess: “If we learn about the Holocaust we can make sure it never happens again.”
Catherine – who has Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, five, and Prince Louis, two, with William – applauded the pair for their dedication to educating young people.
She said: “The stories you both have shared with me again today, and your dedication in educating the younger generation about your experiences and the horrors of the Holocaust shows extreme strength and such bravery. It’s so important and so inspirational, so thank you so much once again for once again sharing your stories with me and for all the work you do in sharing your experiences.”
Last year, Catherine invited survivors Steven Frank and Yvonne Bernstein to Kensington Palace to photograph them with their grandchildren to mark 75 years since the end of the Holocaust.