Gena Turgel consoler of Anne Frank and Holocaust survivor dies at age 95, Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, “The Bride of Belsen” married British liberator Norman Turgel, Cared for Anne Frank as she was dying from typhus
From the AP.
“Holocaust survivor Gena Turgel, consoler of Anne Frank, dies
Gena Turgel, a Holocaust survivor who comforted Anne Frank at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp before the young diarist’s death and the camp’s liberation a month later, has died. She was 95.
Turgel died Thursday, Britain’s chief rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, said on Twitter. The news triggered tributes from some of the people the Polish native touched in the decades she shared her World War II experiences, including witnessing the horrors of the Nazi camps at Auschwitz, Buchenwald and Bergen-Belsen.
After World War II, Turgel married one of Bergen-Belsen’s British liberators, Norman Turgel, earning the nickname “The Bride of Belsen.” Her wedding dress, made from parachute silk, is part of the collection of the Imperial War Museum in London.
Turgel attended Britain’s annual Holocaust remembrance two months ago in a wheelchair with a blanket draped over her knees.
“My story is the story of one survivor, but it is also the story of 6 million who perished,” she said at the event in London’s Hyde Park. “Maybe that’s why I was spared — so my testimony would serve as a memorial like that candle that I light, for the men, women and children who have no voice.””
“It was in a hospital at Bergen-Belsen, where the 22-year-old Turgel arrived in February, that she cared for Anne Frank as the 15-year-old girl was dying from typhus.
“I washed her face, gave her water to drink, and I can still see that face, her hair and how she looked,” Turgel once told the BBC.
Turgel published a memoir, “I Light a Candle,” in 1987 and kept retelling her story in schools across Britain until the end of her life.”