Holocaust survivor Rudi Oppenheimer spoke at Watford Synagogue to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

The 82-year-old shared his wartime experiences as a child when he and his family were forced to flee their home in Berlin and settle first in London, then the Netherlands, in their attempt to escape the Nazis’ clutches. 

Rudi talked about his time in Westerbork transit camp and later Bergen-Belsen where both his parents died in 1945, leaving him orphaned at the age of 14.  

After the war Rudi, his older brother Paul and younger sister Eve travelled to England to join their beloved uncle and aunt in Brondesbury Park.  Rudi subsequently enjoyed a successful career as an engineer with Shell until retirement.

Rudi said his overwhelming message was "if you see wrongdoing, don’t be a bystander."

Watford Synagogue chairman Ronnie Jacob said: "It was a privilege for us to welcome Rudi Oppenheimer to our community and his testimony will remain a powerful reminder of the horrors and disrupted lives so many experienced. With the number of survivors dwindling as the years pass, this was a precious opportunity to hear Rudi’s story first-hand and we hope it will encourage all who heard it to learn from the lessons of the Holocaust and make a positive difference in their own lives."

The visit on Sunday, April 27, was organised with the help of the Holocaust Educational Trust and the evening started with the lighting of six candles to represent the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis.