Holocaust survivor attends Huntingdon memorial service

HUNTINGDON’S first-ever Holocaust Memorial Service was graced by the daughter of a woman whose remarkable story of bravery and courage won international recognition.

HUNTINGDON’S first-ever Holocaust Memorial Service was graced by the daughter of a woman whose remarkable story of bravery and courage won international recognition.

June Medlock, now in her 80s, was just nine when in May 1940 her father was captured as a German prisoner of war while the family were living in Holland.

Her mother June Ravenhall, found herself alone in a foreign country with June and her two young siblings. She moved to a coach house on the outskirts of a wood to keep her family safe.

But in 1942 she risked everything when she was asked by the Dutch Underground to help shelter Louis Solomon.

Mr Solomon, a Dutch Jew, was being hunted by the SS and was dangerously ill with TB. Mrs Ravenhall took him in, even though if she had been caught it would have meant certain death for her and her children.

Thanks to her actions Mr Solomon survived the war and went on to have a family. Mrs Ravenhall was posthumously awarded the status of Righteous Among the Nations by the Council of Yad Vashem in 2007.

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A play about her story, written by St Ives town councillor Jonathan Salt called What Would You Do? was performed by members of the St Ives Youth Theatre at Sunday’s service organised by Huntingdonshire District Council chairman Cllr Jeff Dutton in St Mary’s Church.

Mr Salt, a Fellow of the Imperial War Museum in Holocaust Education, said: “We think of the Holocaust being a story of betrayal and death, but it is also a story of survival and bravery on the most incredible scale, and the story of the Ravenhall Family is such an example.”

Holocaust Memorial Day was held yesterday (Wednesday), marking the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi killing camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.

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