UCL Events


Lunch Hour Lecture for Holocaust Memorial Day | Telling The Story

24 January 2024, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

Yad Vashem hall of names

Holocaust survivor Mala Tribich MBE and Ruth-Anne Lenga of UCL’s Centre for Holocaust Education in conversation with Dr Michael Spence, UCL.

This event is free.

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 Telling The Story: the vital role of survivors’ testimony in Holocaust education

About the Lecture

Perhaps the most powerful way to understand the Holocaust and the myriad methods through which Jewish people across Europe were dehumanised, excluded, persecuted and murdered is through the direct testimony of those who were the targets of Nazi antisemitism. In this special Lunch Hour Lecture to mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2024, Holocaust survivor Mala Tribich, who was nine years old when the Nazis invaded her birth country of Poland, will talk to Dr Michael Spence, President & Provost of UCL, about what happened to her and her family, how she survived against the odds, her liberation by the British at Bergen-Belsen, and ongoing effects of this traumatic past.

As part of the conversation, Mala and Ruth-Anne Lenga (UCL Centre for Holocaust Education) will also discuss how the testimony of survivors forms a vital part of educating about the Holocaust in schools and tackling stereotypes, misconceptions and generalisations about Jewish life and experiences before, during and after the Holocaust.

About the Speakers

Mala Tribich MBE

Mala Tribich MBE was born in 1930 in Piotrkow Trybunalski, Poland. Following the Nazi invasion in 1939, her family was forced to move into a ghetto in her hometown, the first in Poland. Although attempts were made to hide her and other children in the family, Mala remained in the ghetto until it was liquidated and she was held as a slave labourer and then transported Ravensbrück and then eventually to Bergen-Belsen, where she remained until the camp was liberated. By then, she was just a girl of 14 years of age. In March 1947 she moved to the UK to be reunited with her brother Ben Helfgott, the only member of her close family to have survived. She made her life in the UK, working as a secretary before gaining a degree in Sociology from the University of London. She married her husband Maurice in 1950 and today has two children and three grandchildren. Mala is a regular speaker at many national memorial events, schools and universities and is now one of the few remaining survivors of the Holocaust.

Ruth-Anne Lenga Lenga 

Ruth-Anne Lenga Lenga is the Programme Director of UCL’s Centre for Holocaust Education - a specialist institute supporting teachers to deliver high quality research-based Holocaust education. Ruth-Anne, currently completing a year’s secondment, is a leading figure at the Centre since helping to establish it in 2008. Ruth-Anne has, for several years, directed the educational vision and strategy, overseeing programme delivery, driving innovation including the acclaimed Beacon School Programme and created its Master’s degree module offer. Ruth- Anne has thirty years’ experience training teachers at the Institute of Education (IOE) and also served as Learning Director at London’s Jewish Museum. She leads the Centre’s engagement with survivors examining, in particular, post-Holocaust trauma, and has played a pivotal role in securing major national and international projects. She also leads the Centre’s innovation work with UNESCO and Lord Mann to address antisemitism and related issues.

Dr Michael Spence AC

Dr Michael Spence AC joined UCL as President & Provost in January 2021. View Michael's biography

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