John Kyrle High School students and staff were both honoured and humbled to welcome Werner Reich, from New York, to the school on Wednesday afternoon, September 20th.

Werner, now in his 90th year is one of a very small number of people still alive who experienced the horror of Auschwitz during World War II.

Auschwitz was the largest of the German Nazi concentration camps and extermination centres. Over 1.1 million men, women and children lost their lives there.

Werner witnessed many horrors during his captivity, encountering the infamous ‘Angel of Death’ (Josef Mengele), and surviving a death march in temperatures well below freezing.

Werner also touched on his wife Eva’s story; her life had been spared by the actions of Nicholas Winton, a British man who had saved the lives of nearly 700 children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia just prior to the outbreak of World War II.

Werner gave two presentations during the afternoon; one to 240 enrapt Year 9 students and one to a large group of Sixth Form History and Religious Studies students. Werner shared his life story which took him from Germany to Yugoslavia and Austria with time also spent in the UK before he emigrated to the USA.

See the full story in this week’s edition of the Ross Gazette, or subscribe to our online edition here