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The Duchess Marks Holocaust Remembrance Day

The Duchess marked Holocaust Remembrance Day by speaking with Holocaust survivors and youth ambassadors from the Holocaust Educational Trust via video call.

Above you see the Duchess with Manfred Goldberg (L) and Zigi Shipper (R), who were in their teens when they were imprisoned at the Stutthof Concentration Camp in northern Poland.  You may recall the Duke and Duchess meeting Mr. Goldberg and Mr. Shipper in 2017 while on their tour of Poland and Germany.

That was during an extraordinary reunion when the men returned to the camp for the first time since its liberation in 1945.  Mr. Shipper says that Mr. Goldberg saved his life by supporting him on the final 1945 death march when the boys were just 15. In the call released today, the Duchess said, “Manfred and Zigi, I never forgot the first time we met, and your stories have stuck with me since then.”

The camp was liberated by British troops and the two boys were taken to the same hospital to recover.  

More from The Telegraph’s story by Victoria Ward. 

When he was first asked to travel back to Germany to meet the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the Nazi concentration camp that had been his personal “hell on Earth” it was an agonising decision.

But Manfred Goldberg, 90, felt it was his duty to do so.

And in an emotional reunion this week, he told the Duchess that their intensely moving visit to Stutthof, Poland, in 2017, described by the royals as “shattering,” had prompted such a remarkable global reaction that he did not regret his decision for a second. 

More from The Daily Mail on Mr. Shipper’s relocation to England.  

He travelled to England ten months later to be reunited with his mother, who he had barely met.

Zigi explained to the duchess that his first six months in the UK ‘were hell’ because he missed his friends so much but that he went on to have a ‘wonderful, wonderful life’ with his wife and today has two daughters, six grandchildren and five great grand-children.

‘What a life I have had!’ he said,‘ I would never go anywhere to live.’

Mr. Shipper and his family at his 90th birthday celebration. 

We return to The Telegraph’s piece

The Duchess told them:

“The stories that you have both shared with me and your dedication in educating the next generation, the younger generations, about your experiences and the horrors of the Holocaust shows extreme strength and such bravery. It’s so important and so inspirational.”

The Duchess added that “we all have a role to play, all generations have a role to play” in ensuring their stories live on and that the lessons learnt are not repeated.

The gentlemen and the Duchess also spoke with Farah Ali and Maxwell Horner, 18-year-old youth ambassadors for the Holocaust Educational Trust.

More from The Daily Mail’s coverage: 

Asked by the duchess how she felt hearing the mens’ stories, Farah said: ‘There are no words to describe it.’

Talking about his work lecturing the younger generation, Manfred commented: ‘What I end up telling them is….that please remember all it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to remain silent. And I do get feedback that indicates that this is taken aboard.

‘I have been told time and again, that leaning about the Holocaust from a text book is rather dull and doesn’t make an impact. But to listen to a survivor makes an incredible impact. ‘

The duchess said: ‘We all have a role to play, all generations have a role to play in making sure the stories that we have heard from Zigi and Manfred today live on and ensure that the lessons that we have learnt are not repeated in history for future generations.

January 27th was chosen as the day to mark the Holocaust because it is the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp. It was the largest of all of the Nazi camps where more than 1.1 million people were murdered.  This year’s theme is “Be the Light in the Darkness.” Prince Charles is Royal Patron of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, and he spoke about the theme in a video released on social media. 

 Last year the Duke and Duchess attended the annual UK Holocaust Memorial Day Commemorative Ceremony. 

This year’s Commemoration can be viewed live on YouTube at 12:45pm ET/9:45am PT. (A recording of the event will be available as well.) 

You may recall the Duchess was also part of a project last year featuring 75 Holocaust survivors and their families; she shot photo portraits of two families. Here you see her during one of the shoots at Kensington Palace last year with Steven Frank, who was then 84-years-old, and his granddaughters, Maggie and Trixie.

That endeavor was a collaborative effort of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust along with The Jewish News and the Royal Photographic Society (Kate is Royal Patron of the RPS). It was designed to honor Holocaust victims and celebrate the full lives that survivors built in the UK. (Our original post is here.)

Now for a very harsh turn to briefly cover what Kate wore during the call.

She was in a top that looks like an Alexander McQueen design, the brand’s Fine Ribbed Knit Top.  

Made of wool, the fitted piece has directional ribbing detail, including a center strip on the front and back, a round neck, and keyhole back. Many thanks to Elizabeth of Kate’s Closet for this ID!  The Duchess also wore her Simone Rocha Faux Pearl Curb-Chain Earrings ($310, now sold out), shown below as worn on another occasion.

She also had on the necklace with the circular black pendant seen on a call with nurses in the Midlands.

I’ve had lots of good suggestions for this ID and will update when I return home this evening (I am traveling today.) 

UPDATE: There have been several good ideas shared for the Duchess’s UFO necklace. Natasha suggests it may be made of Whitby Jet, so named because it is sourced from Whitby in North Yorkshire.  Natasha points out that the Duke and Duchess spoke with staff from North Yorkshire-based Just ‘B’ in a recent call (original post here).  Below left, a pendant-style from W. Hamond, “The Original Whitby Jet Shop.” This style is the Yellow Gold Whitby Jet Framed Round Necklace (£886).  In the center, a design from Astley Clarke, a popular British jeweler, the Stilla Black Onyx Pendant Necklace (£160). 

 

On the right, another idea that comes via Ana in a comment, the Ana Luisa Yves Necklace ($50), made by a US-based company.  For those asking about Tiffany’s By the Yard necklace, this is not the same piece. That necklace sits much higher and also includes two diamonds.

The most logical piece seems to be the Whitby Jet, but the Astley Clarke is also a good option, or it could easily be another designer/retailer altogether. We really won’t know until we see it in clearer photos as opposed to screengrabs. Thank you to everyone for your suggestions! 

UPDATE FEB 10: It turns out the piece looks like the Round Stilla Lapis Lazuli Pendant Necklace ($220) from Astley Clarke.

More from the product description: “this demi-fine Stilla gemstone pendant features a captivating table-cut lapis lazuli gem, set in 18-carat yellow gold plated sterling silver, and uses a spectacle setting to display the entire blue gemstone and show its complexities beautifully. This gemstone pendant is finished with a gold nugget detail and our signature Astley Clarke star-set lapis lazuli tag.”

This was one of the pieces suggested in a previous post, but some of us didn’t realize it was blue; we thought it was black. The updated content on the necklace is from this February 10 post

Here is a video of the full call. 

 

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Jenn Black

Tuesday 2nd of February 2021

I think the necklace might be a redesigned sapphire from Diana’s collection. Kate sapphire earrings only have 1 sapphire and there were 2 on Diana’s drop earrings so that leaves those top or bottom pieces as MIA. It could also be a Kiki piece, Kate has worn Kiki right after the holidays before which leads one to believe her previous pieces may have been gifts. Same could be true with this necklace. It doesn’t match the first option with the large bell where it connects to the chain and doesn’t appear to have 2 chains like the 3rd option.

I really hope gets some amazing jewelry for her 10th wedding anniversary in April and that we’ll soon have an occasion where she is full glam!

Therese

Tuesday 2nd of February 2021

THE DOC HAS A FRESH, GIRL NEXT DOOR APPEAL, YET A QUIET SENSUALITY. SHE IS LOVELY HERE. THE MUTED COLORS ARE SO APPROPRIATE FOR THE TOPIC. HER NATURAL HAIR COLOR IS VERY COMPLIMENTARY TO HER SKIN TONE AND THE MINIMALIST MAKEUP IS HER BEST LOOK. I THINK SHE HAS THE PERFECT FIGURE FOR CLASSIC, CHIC, SEXY OUTFITS THAT DON'T HAVE A LOT OF FUSSY HIGH COLLARS, BOWS, SLEEVES ETC. THE DOC LOOKS SO YOUTHFUL HERE, AND HER SINCERITY AND COMPASSION IS VERY EVIDENT.

ElizaMo

Friday 29th of January 2021

Kate is at her most charming with these two delightful gentlemen, and with no loss of respect for their story. Likewise, her subdued outfit manages to be both contemporary and appropriate. The McQueen top as illustrated looks great, though I wonder if it is a bit close fitting on Kate, whose shoulders look a little rounded in it, helpfully shielded by her ever-growing hair.

I was fascinated in close-up to see how the ribbing has been used in contrast diagonal panels either side of the centre strip. The detailing is all subtle and refined, but enough to give a spark of life to the quiet grey. Oddly, the parallel lines of ribbing managed to remind me of pictures of the rail lines entering the death camp as well as lines of ploughing in winter fields preparing for the renewal of life. A low-key reference of my own entirely.

Kate’s jewellery is well chosen for the occasion, the pearl drops are softly feminine and the dark pendant has a constrained dense presence of its own. I also would love it to be the Whitby Jet as worn by Queen Victoria and have in fact popped over to the website to pick up a small item of my own to inspect. Thank you for presenting such a sensitive post so beautifully.

Thelma

Thursday 28th of January 2021

I researched both gentlemen and what a story about survival and strength. I urge everyone to do the same and it is so important that we never forget the turmoil the world went through during the 30's and 40's. The clothes are rather irrelevant but I do like the look of the top that Kate is wearing.

Khloe

Thursday 28th of January 2021

Hearing about the Holocaust is always painful, but I liked what Mr Goldberg said about good and evil. We cannot forget what happened. We must keep the memory fresh and raw, least we do forget.

It must have been wonderful for the Duchess to reconnect with Mr Shipper and Mr Goldberg. Friendship is one of the sweetest gifts that has been given to humanity.