'If you survive this, tell others what you've seen'

January 29 2018

HELLA Hewison is a 93-year-old with quite an extraordinary life story.

HELLA Hewison is a 93-year-old with quite an extraordinary life story. She came to Bristol when she was 14 , having  grown up in Berlin.  Hella escaped from Nazi Germany in June 1939 when her parents put her on the KinderTransport. She was fostered by a family, went to Colston Girls School, quickly learned English and subsequently trained to be a nurse and a health visitor.

In January 2017,  BBC Radio Bristol released a short film on Facebook with Hella talking about her escape from Germany and what happened to her and her family. One year on, this film has been viewed over 750,000 times.  If you search on google:  Hella Hewison BBC England, “I have to speak because this world has not changed.” You should find this amazing film. Echoing in my head are her father’s powerful words, “If you survive this, tell other people what you have seen.”

Hella has survived, lived a very full life and still attends the Downend Christ Church Fellowship. She took her father’s words to heart and has shared again and again her survival story and the tragic events of the holocaust which affected her family. Her sister also escaped, but both her parents and her grandmother were killed in concentration camps. I count it a privilege to know this lady and to share her story as the world remembers on Holocaust Memorial Day, 27 January. 

Helen Buick