• Thu. Jun 20th, 2024

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Holocaust victim Anne Frank inspires Saltburn care home resident ahead of memorial day

ANNE Frank’s words have been inscribed on a stone by a Saltburn care home resident and Second World War veteran to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

“Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness,” wrote the teenage victim of the Holocaust in her diaries while in hiding in Amsterdam between 1942-44.

The words continue to resonate with 94-year-old Susan Turner, almost 76 years after Anne’s death at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, in February 1945.

Susan, a resident at Hazelgrove Court Care Home, on Randolph Street, was just three years older than Anne, who died at the age of 15.

She chose Anne’s words to write on a stone alongside a painted candle, which has been sent to Big Ideas as part of their Foundation Stones project.

The project invites schools and community groups across the UK to make contributions to the planned Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre, in London.

Building on the Jewish custom of placing a pebble on headstones when visiting a grave, contributions will become part of the new memorial.

Susan, a member of the Women’s Royal Naval Service during the Second World War, said: “I was proud to have been in the Wrens and do my bit during the War.

“I wanted to put a candle on my stone as it’s a symbol of remembrance for those who lost their lives.

“Everyone has heard of Anne Frank and knows her story, so I chose to quote her as her words stood out to me, as they mention a candle.”

Susan was one of several residents at Hazelgrove Court Care Home to decorate a stone to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, on 27th January 2021.

Donald Ingledew, 90, wrote “Never Forgotten” on his and Joyce Baxtrum, 90, decorated hers with poppies and wrote “Always in Our Heart”.

Dot Paling, 74, who painted a tree of hope on her stone, said: “I remember my parents talking about the Holocaust.”

Lynn Walshaw, a carer at Hazelgrove Court Care Home, said: “My father was a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp and lived to an old age. I feel really proud of our residents doing these stones so that people do not forget.”

Sharon Lewis, activities coordinator at Hazelgrove Court Care Home, helped organise the residents’ participation in the Foundation Stones initiative.

She said: “The residents all wanted to do something to mark Holocaust Memorial Day as they said the Holocaust should never be forgotten and is a sad part of our history.

“I found the Big Ideas’ Foundation Stones initiative through the National Activity Providers Association (NAPA) and the residents were keen to participate and add their own contributions to the Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.

“They all did an amazing job with their stones and they’re proud to add them to the memorial in London.”

Sophie Pester, from Big Ideas, said: “We were thrilled to have Hazelgrove Court Care Home take part in Foundation Stones and make a personal contribution to the new UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.

“As we approach Holocaust Memorial Day on the 27th of January we would like to invite schools and community groups to take part in the project.”