It has been 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is marking the anniversary by commemorating a group of Holocaust survivors with a series of powerful photographs.
Frank, who was photographed with his granddaughters Maggie and Trixie, was one of the few children who survived the Westerbork transit camp in the Netherlands, and then the Theresienstadt concentration camp in the Czech Republic.
Yvonne Bernstein, pictured with her granddaughter, Chloe, was a “hidden child” in France during the war who frequently moved around and changed names.
“I wanted to make the portraits deeply personal to Yvonne and Steven — a celebration of family and the life that they have built since they both arrived in Britain in the 1940s. The families brought items of personal significance with them which are included in the photographs,” the duchess said in an Instagram post from Kensington Palace.
“It was a true honour to have been asked to participate in this project and I hope in some way Yvonne and Steven’s memories will be kept alive as they pass the baton to the next generation.”
The photos will be part of an upcoming exhibition organized by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, Jewish News and the Royal Photographic Society. The exhibit, which opens later this year, will feature photos of survivors and their family members.
Kensington Palace also shared some candid photos of the duchess speaking with Frank and Bernstein and hearing their stories.
The former Kate Middleton said that meeting with the Holocaust survivors and their granddchildren was a moving and unforgettable experience.
“The harrowing atrocities of the Holocaust, which were caused by the most unthinkable evil, will forever lay heavy in our hearts,” she said in another Instagram post from the palace. “Yet it is so often through the most unimaginable adversity that the most remarkable people flourish.
“Despite unbelievable trauma at the start of their lives, Yvonne Bernstein and Steven Frank are two of the most life-affirming people that I have had the privilege to meet,” she added. “They look back on their experiences with sadness but also with gratitude that they were some of the lucky few to make it through. Their stories will stay with me forever.”