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LONDON (AP) — Gena Turgel, a Holocaust survivor who comforted Anne Frank at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp before the young diarist’s death and the camp’s liberation a month later, has died. She was 95.
Turgel died Thursday, Britain’s chief rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, said on Twitter. The news triggered tributes from some of the people the Polish native touched in the decades she shared her World War II experiences, including witnessing the horrors of the Nazi camps at Auschwitz, Buchenwald and Bergen-Belsen.
After World War II, Turgel married one of Bergen-Belsen’s British liberators, Norman Turgel, earning the nickname “The Bride of Belsen.” Her wedding dress, made from parachute silk, is part of the collection of the Imperial War Museum in London.
The article goes on to state the following:
Born in Krakow, Poland as Gena Goldfinger on Feb. 1, 1923, Turgel and her family were forced to move into a Jewish ghetto with only a sack of potatoes, some flour and a few belongings in late 1941. One brother was shot by SS police and another disappeared after trying to escape, according to the Holocaust Educational Trust in London.
A sister of hers was shot while trying to smuggle food into a labor camp. In January 1945, Turgel and her mother were forced onto a death march from Auschwitz, leaving her remaining sister behind.
It was in a hospital at Bergen-Belsen, where the 22-year-old Turgel arrived in February, that she cared for Anne Frank as the 15-year-old girl was dying from typhus.
“I washed her face, gave her water to drink, and I can still see that face, her hair and how she looked,” Turgel once told the BBC.
We are deeply saddened to hear about the death of Gena Turgel MBE, a survivor of the Holocaust who dedicated so much of her time to Holocaust awareness and education. pic.twitter.com/wRupd1CKUx
— Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (@HMD_UK) June 8, 2018
I was saddened to learn of the passing of Gena Turgel. I met Gena at the Yom HaShoah commemoration earlier this year and was deeply moved by her contribution and inspired by her lifelong commitment to educating people about the horrors of the Holocaust. https://t.co/OmgZH0d4g0
— Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) June 8, 2018
Watch: “I beg you – don’t forget those who are less fortunate than yourselves”.
Please find a few minutes to listen to the moving words of Gena Turgel z”l, a truly remarkable Holocaust Survivor who sadly passed away last night. Her legacy is our responsibility now. pic.twitter.com/4hZBEKYSoO
— Chief Rabbi Mirvis (@chiefrabbi) June 8, 2018
— Jewish News (@JewishNewsUK) June 8, 2018
We are truly saddened to hear of the death of Gena Turgel.
— H.E.T. (@HolocaustUK) June 8, 2018
We are sad to learn of survivor #GenaTurgel‘s death. Condolences to her family & friends. Gena’s tireless Holocaust education work informed so many thousands in schools across UK. Her legacy will continue; her story will go on inspiring @RWBAcademy @RWBA6 students & staff. pic.twitter.com/ifKCSupGpE
— RWBAHolocaust (@RWBAHolocaust) June 8, 2018
CST’s thoughts & prayers are with the family & friends of Holocaust survivor Gena Turgel who has passed away. She was an inspiration who dedicated her life to Holocaust education. Her testimony will ensure people never forget the tragedy of the Holocaust https://t.co/FUphRFCEYa pic.twitter.com/teFk2JAsWH
— CST (@CST_UK) June 8, 2018
.@HolocaustUK Thx for your tweet, but Oh So Sad to hear of the passing of Gena Turgel. May she RIP 🌹A few years ago I read her book ‘I Light A Candle’ & heard her bear witness of how she survived the horrors of the 1940’s nazi ghettos & death camps in Europe. She was Inspiring. https://t.co/al5oHLyzp2
— Jennette Arnold OBE (@JennetteArnold) June 8, 2018
Holocaust survivor Gena Turgel, known as the ‘Bride of Belsen’ has died at the age of 95 | Ms Turgel survived the ghetto, Auschwitz, Buchenwald and Bergen Belsen and later married a British soldier who helped liberate Belsen camp. https://t.co/LaC27APPsM pic.twitter.com/0TQYxAVFfX
— Kathy Hull (@KathyHulled) June 9, 2018
— Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (@PittsburghPG) June 9, 2018
Belsen Survivor, Gena Turgel, has died aged 95. Here’s the story of the help my father, Belsen liberator, Leonard Berney, gave Gena and her future husband at Belsen: “British soldier fell in love with Jewish inmate at Belsen concentration camp” https://t.co/hZfOBlk1eq #GenaTurgel pic.twitter.com/SCZMpBzOSi
— LiberatingBelsenBook (@BelsenBook) June 8, 2018
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