In 1996 a small group of Leeds-based Holocaust survivors and refugees came together in the spirit of friendship and mutual support to create the Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association. For many this was the first time they had spoken out about their experiences of the Holocaust.
Over the past 20 years HSFA members have worked with tens of thousands of people, sharing their most harrowing and distressing experiences so that future generations can learn about the dangers of intolerance and the ease with which prejudice can lead to genocide.
HSFA works with many partner organisations to deliver learning resources, events, creative projects and other opportunities for people to find out about our survivors’ experiences, using that knowledge to promote understanding and tolerance.
The HSFA is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee. It is run by a Board of Trustees chaired by Lilian Black. Lilian’s father Eugene survived concentration camps and forced labour to make a new life in the UK.
Our Trustees are:
Lilian Black (Chair)
Robin Gilmore (Treasurer)
The Holocaust Exhibition & Learning Centre
In 2018 the HSFA began a new chapter in its development, opening the Holocaust Exhibition and Learning Centre in partnership with the University of Huddersfield.
This £1.1m project was supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Pears Foundation, The Association of Jewish Refugees, the Toni Schiff Memorial Fund, the Wolfson Family Trust, and many individual donors and family trusts. We are grateful to all our funders and supporters for helping to bring this project to fruition. Find out more about the Centre and how to visit us.
As a membership organisation, survivors and refugees are at the heart of our work. Our oral historian and support worker, Dr Tracy Craggs, works in the community with survivors and families to support their wellbeing. We are grateful to the Sobell Foundation and The Association of Jewish Refugees for supporting our work with the survivor community.
HSFA has a growing collection of objects, photographs and archive material relating to Holocaust refugees and survivors who made the north of England their home. Our collection includes oral history interviews with over 70 refugees and survivors covering their lives in Europe before the Second World War, their experiences of persecution, escaping or surviving the Holocaust, and how they established new lives in England.
We are working with the University of Huddersfield to make our archive more accessible for learning and research. We are actively developing our collection and seeking donations and volunteer support to catalogue and preserve it. Please contact us for more information.