Islington remembers victims on Holocaust Memorial Day
The powerful stories of Holocaust survivor Hana Kleiner and Bosnian genocide survivor Mevlida Lazibi reveal why we should never forget and instead we must stand together.
Hana Kleiner (93) was born in Czechoslovakia in 1927, where she remained until the Nazi occupation began in 1939. Hana’s parents made the decision to send Hana and her sister to the UK, finding her a spot on one of Nicholas Winton’s Kindertransport from Prague.
This train was to be the last that left Prague before the war began. In May 1945, Hana received information that none of her family had survived, except two extended cousins. Both of Hana’s parents perished in Auschwitz. After the war, Hana remained in the UK, where she studied at the University of London and became a chemist.
Mevlida Lazibi (53) was born in Srebrenica where she lived until the Bosnian War broke out. The war lasted from 1992 to 1995 and claimed the lives of around 100,000 civilians and armed forces. The war also sparked a genocide against Bosnian Muslims, known as Bosniaks, and lead to the loss of more than 25,000 lives.
Mevlida’s husband was killed in late 1992, and she lost her baby that was due in a week’s time. In April 1993, Mevlida was evacuated together with thousands of other women to Tuzla, where she began working for a range of charities.
Mevlida lost a total of 48 members of her family throughout the war. After the war, and following treatment for cancer in Denmark, Mevlida eventually settled in London and started work with the Human Relief Foundation.