`

Inspirational Leeds Holocaust survivor honoured with unveiling of new statue

0
Have your say

A holocaust survivor who continues to inspire thousands of people with accounts of her experiences has been honoured.

Iby Knill, 94, was captured and taken to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp during the Second World War.

Iby Knill holding the small sandstone figurine of herself at The Tetley Gallery. PIC: James Hardisty

Iby Knill holding the small sandstone figurine of herself at The Tetley Gallery. PIC: James Hardisty

Decades after being liberated and moving to England, and telling her story through inspirational books and talks, she has now been chosen among 25 other living women to be immortalised in a series of special statues.

Commissioned by Heritage Open Days, the foot-high statue of Mrs Knill, of Chapel Allerton, was unveiled at The Tetley Gallery, in Hunslet Road, yesterday.

The British Empire Medal recipient was chosen for making a significant contribution to the community.

“I was tickled pink about it,” Mrs Knill told the Yorkshire Evening Post after the statue was unveiled.

“What matters is what you do in your life and you should never harm anybody.

“You are judged by what you do and you should do good wherever possible. But you don’t expect that because of that you would get recognition.”

She said she found out afterwards that she had been nominated for the statue by her granddaughter.

Mrs Knill grew up in Czechoslovakia but fled to Hungary in 1942 after the Nazi persecution of Jews accelerated.

Following a period in hiding as a young woman, she was captured and taken to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, where she worked as a slave labourer in an armaments factory until eventually being liberated by American troops.

Since moving to England, she has addressed more than 50,000 young people, educating them about the horrors of the genocide.

Mrs Knill is now set to release her third book documenting her experiences as a holocaust survivor.

She was chosen out of thousands of inspirational women who were nominated for one of the 25 statues unveiled across the country yesterday for the project.