In Conversation – Holocaust Memorial Day 2020.
To mark Holocaust Memorial Day, we invited Holocaust Survivor, Janine Webber and Hasan Hasanović who survived the Srebrenica Genocide to come in to our studio to talk to us about their experiences and the work they are doing to campaign against hate and discrimination for the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.
Janine Webber was born in Lwów in Poland (now L’viv, Ukraine) in 1932. Following the Nazi-Soviet Pact, Lwów was occupied by the Red Army in 1939 and remained under Soviet rule until June 1941 when Germany invaded the USSR. Persecution of the Jews of Lwów began immediately, and thousands of people were murdered within weeks of the invasion by the Nazis and Ukrainian collaborators.
Janine and her family soon had to leave their apartment and move into an area on the edge of the city, in preparation for the establishment of a ghetto. They were permitted to take only one suitcase and were allocated a small room in a house for the whole family to live in. The house was shared with the family of Janine’s aunt as well as two other families. In addition to the appalling living conditions, they had to live with the fear of frequent German raids. Janine’s parents therefore dug a hiding place under a wardrobe; this was sufficient to protect Janine, her brother and her mother but there was not enough room for the other members of her family – Janine’s father was shot and she never saw her grandmother again.
In 1956, Janine came to the UK to improve her English, where she met and married her husband. They had two sons and two grandsons. Today, Janine still lives in London and regularly shares her testimony with schools.
Hasan Hasanović was born on 7 December 1975 in Bajina Bašta, Serbia. He lived in the village of Sulice, Bosnia, 35 kilometres south of Srebrenica, until the family moved to Bratunac in 1991. When the Bosnian War started in March 1992, towns in the east of the country came under attack from Bosnian Serb forces.
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