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Prince Charles praises ‘resilience’ of Holocaust survivors

Prince Charles has praised the “extraordinary resilience and courage” of Britain’s Holocaust survivors.

The Prince of Wales commissioned portraits of seven survivors and believes the “special collection” of paintings – which will be held in the Royal Collection – will serve as a reminder of “history’s darkest days” and help to ensure sure horror never happens again.

In a foreword to the exhibition of the paintings being held at Buckingham Palace, Charles wrote: “They stand as a living memorial to the six million innocent men, women, and children whose stories will never be told, whose portraits will never be painted.

“They stand as a powerful testament to the quite extraordinary resilience and courage of those who survived and who, despite their advancing years, have continued to tell the world of the unimaginable atrocities they witnessed.

“They stand as a permanent reminder for our generation – and indeed, to future generations – of the depths of depravity and evil humankind can fall to when reason, compassion and truth are abandoned.

“As the number of Holocaust survivors sadly, but inevitably, declines, my abiding hope is that this special collection will act as a further guiding light for our society, reminding us not only about history’s darkest days, but of humanity’s interconnectedness as we strive to create a better world for our children, grandchildren and generations as yet unborn; one where hope is victorious over despair and love triumphs over hate.”

Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, attended the opening of the exhibition earlier this week, where they met the subjects of the portraits, who are all in their 90s, and their families.

Lily Ebert, 98, showed Charles the number tattoo she was branded with in Auschwitz and also a pendant given to her by her late mother which she concealed in her shoe.

She told the prince: “Meeting you, it is for everyone who lost their lives.”

He emotionally replied: “But it is a greater privilege for me.”

Camilla thanked Lily for taking part in the event.

She also said: “It’s an absolutely lovely portrait. And what’s wonderful is that it is here forever [in the Royal Collection].”

Survivors Helen Aronson, Manfred Goldberg, Arek Hersh, Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, Rachel Levy and Zigi Shipper also feature in the exhibition, which includes work done over the course of a year via the Prince’s Drawing School from artists Paul Benney, Ishbel Myerscough, Clara Drummond, Massimiliano Pironti, Peter Kuhfeld, Stuart Pearson Wright and Jenny Saville.

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