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.
In the past 20 years this committed and dedicated group 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 has worked 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 was deported from his home in Hungary in 1944 and sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Eugene lost most of his family to the Holocaust but survived concentration camps and forced labour to make a new life in the UK.
In 2018 the HSFA began a new chapter in its development. We are delighted to open our new Holocaust Exhibition and Learning Centre in partnership with the University of Huddersfield.
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.