A Holocaust survivor says her childhood ended the day she saw her mother shot dead by the Nazis.

Hannah Lewis was just eight-years-old when she witnessed the horror of losing her much-loved mother.

"I saw her lying there with her blood staining the snow and I always say that is when I grew up. I now knew why she wasn’t looking at me when she left, as she always did, and that I mustn’t make a noise", she recalled at a Holocaust learning event at Watford Synagogue.

Seventy-five years after the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, Watford Synagogue welcomed 430 students from schools and West Herts College to a series of educational sessions on this year’s theme 'Stand Together' this week.

The students, from years 9 to 13, had the opportunity to hear a Holocaust survivor recount their personal story first-hand and take part in a workshop relating historical facts about the Holocaust to contemporary issues such as racism, discrimination and personal responsibility.

As well as Ms Lewis, this year’s speakers sharing their remarkable stories of survival were Susan Pollack, Rachel (Ruzena) Levy, Ziggy Shipper and Manfred Goldberg.

Watford Observer:

Holocaust survivor Susan Pollack with West Herts College student Aaliyah Campbell-Brown

Students responded acknowledging it is of the "utmost importance not to allow such atrocities to occur again" and that talks like this are needed because "those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it".

The mayor of Watford was also in attendance.

Watford Observer:

Hannah Lewis with Peter Taylor, the mayor of Watford

Peter Taylor said: "It’s so important to learn about the Holocaust and hearing the survivors’ testimony first-hand today is incredibly powerful. With rising antisemitism today, it’s especially important for the next generation to hear where hatred can lead."