Holocaust remembered in Oxford: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Stories
Friday 27th Jan 2023, 12.03pm
Hosted by Magdalen’s president Dinah Rose KC, and organised by Magdalen History DPhil researcher, Barnabas Balint, last night’s talk was part of a series of eight events happening around Oxford, under this year’s Holocaust memorial theme: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Stories.
Despite her terrible experiences, Mrs Tribich described herself as ‘lucky’ on several occasions, pointing out chance events which led her to survive, while her parents, sister, aunts and uncles were murdered. She explained she had a very ordinary childhood, until the outbreak of war, when her world was turned upside down.
Initially, to avoid being deported, she was sent to live with a Christian family near the German border, who were paid to look after her. The fear and terror of those years, were palpable, as she said plainly, ‘There were rewards for turning in Jews…some people made a good living out of it.’
The difficulty now is that there is a whole industry out there which wants to claim the Holocaust did not happen. There is denial and distortion
Mrs Tribich spoke with clarity of her years a slave labourer and concentration camp captive, caring for her young cousin, while a child herself. She mentioned by name, friends and relations who had perished and, in a most powerful explanation, Mrs Tribich said she always mentioned the people by name, who had died in the Holocaust, so they were not forgotten – not eradicated from history, as the Nazis had wanted.
Lord Pickles told the audience, ‘This happened not so long ago and not so far away and the truth is, most people who committed atrocities just walked away….[We] went to the moon on a rocket designed by a Nazi who had worked slave labourers to death. This year’s theme is Ordinary People, and it is not just the victims who were ordinary but the perpetrators as well.’
Mrs Tribich said she always mentioned the people by name, who had died in the Holocaust, so they were not forgotten – not eradicated from history, as the Nazis had wanted
While revealing a Holocaust memorial has been given government support to be built alongside Westminster, Lord Pickles said, ‘The Nazis would not have been able to murder six million Jews without collaboration…the Holocaust did not happen in a dark corner but in clear visibility.’
Lord Pickles said antisemitism ‘diminishes us all’.
Magdalen College’s famous tower is set to turn purple this evening [27 Jan] – one of some 200 buildings to be flood-lit as part of the national campaign to ‘light the darkness’ – in commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day at Oxford.
Also helping in the auditorium last night was Martha Kashti, a postgraduate student.