Yizkor – Remember
Mona Golabek, the concert pianist and author of the highly acclaimed book ‘The Children of Willesden Lane’ based on her mother’s experience as a Kindertransport child, gave an inspirational and emotional performance at our dinner held on February 2017 at St John’s Wood Synagogue.
Mona had been taught the piano by her Austrian mother, Lisa Jura, who fled the Nazis on the Kindertransport to London at the age of 14 in 1938. Her mother’s parents were killed in Auschwitz. She recalled her mother saying “that each piece of music tells a story. She also told me about her youth in Vienna, taking a train ride, fleeing from the Nazis, making her way to a street called Willesden Lane where she grew up with other refugee children. So it became my destiny to tell the story.” The pianist performed a sell-out one-woman show based on her mother’s life, The Pianist of Willesden Lane, at the St James Theatre in London last year. Her book, The Children of Willesden Lane, is set to be developed into a feature film by the BBC. Looking to the future, Ruth Bergman, director of Hewlett Packard Labs in Israel, explained how digital techniques were revolutionising the way Holocaust memories can be preserved. Simon Bentley, chairman of Yad Vashem UK Foundation, stressed the importance of “Holocaust education in the UK to help expose and confront the current extremism and antisemitism based on anti-Zionism, both from the right and the left, by guarding the memory of both victims and survivors”.