Memorial to Ireland’s only Holocaust victim unveiled
Ettie Steinberg and her young son were killed after being transported to Auschwitz from Paris
A memorial to Ireland’s only Holocaust victim Ettie Steinberg has been unveiled at a secondary school in Malahide, Co Dublin.
Holocasut survivor Tomi Reichental, who was incarcerated in Bergen-Belsen at the age of nine-years, addressed the students of Malahide Community School following the ceremony this afternoon.
“We have people today that would deny the Holocaust,” he said. “After my lecture if somebody should tell you that the Holocaust was Jewish propaganda you can say: ‘No, we met someone who was there.’”
Mr Reichental then went on to speak about his childhood in Slovakia and his experience in Bergen-Belsen.
“This is a special day,” said Lynne Jackson, chair of Holocaust Education Trust Ireland, adding that it was Mr Reichental’s third visit to the school since he started speaking publicly nine years ago about his time in the concentration camp.
She said the stone memorial to Ettie Steinberg was a way for the school to create a permanent Holocaust memorial.
Steinberg’s family were from Czechoslovakia and came to Dublin from London in 1926. In 1937 she married a Belgian man and later moved to Belgium and then Paris, where she had a son. In 1942 she and her little boy were transported to Auschwitz and killed.
In Jews in Twentieth-Century Ireland , Dermot Keogh notes, “the Steinbergs in Dublin had secured visas for Ettie and her family trough the British home office in Belfast. The visas were sent immediately to Toulouse but they arrived too late. Ettie and her family had been rounded up the day before…”
Thirty-five members of Mr Reichental’s family perished in the Holocaust. He was sent to Bergen-Belsen in 1944 and survived along with his mother, brother, aunt and cousin. He has lived in Ireland since 1959.
Ms Jackson said: “We’re all very conscious that the clock is ticking. Our survivors are conscious of that and they know that time is passing ...
“Next year it will be 70 years since the end of World War II, so survivors who were children at the time are at least 75, sometimes in their 80s or older today and they won’t last forever. So there’s an urgency about holocaust awareness.”