Holocaust book launched in Lords

'The Single Light' chronicles a survivor's harrowing and moving experiences.

Ernest Levy 88 (photo credit: )
Ernest Levy 88
(photo credit: )
A book chronicling a survivor's harrowing and moving experiences during the Holocaust, his imprisonment in seven different death and concentration camps, the loss of many family members and struggle for survival was launched at the House of Lords on Tuesday night. Lord Janner, chairman of the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET), together with Labor Member of Parliament Jim Murphy, hosted a reception, attended by a large number of Holocaust survivors, to mark the release of Ernest Levy's autobiographical book The Single Light. Speaking at the event, Levy spoke about the importance of telling his story so that the next generation learns the lessons of the Holocaust from first-hand testimony. "I would like to express my deep gratitude to everyone responsible for bringing The Single Light into realization," Levy said."Just a few years back, at the age of 19, I was witnessing the total breakdown of civilization and today I am standing here in the House of Lords, an example of the survival of the Jewish people. This book will allow future generations to read about my experiences for years to come. We must guard the single light for the future; please don't let it go out." Levy was a young teenager in Czechoslovakia when the Nazis expelled Jews of Hungarian origin back across the border. He was in Auschwitz-Birkenau and when the Russians closed in was marched to Bergen-Belsen. Since finding a home in Scotland in the early 1960s, he has been able to educate young people about the Holocaust. Murphy, MP for the Glasgow area where Levy lives, said: "Have you ever met someone in your life, so inspiring, that you have felt honored just to meet them? Ernest Levy is such a person. "The remarkable story of this inspirational man's horrific journey through the darkest period in human history…The Single Light entertains, inspires and at times makes you want to scream at the top of your voice in anger." "For more than 40 years, Glasgow has been Ernest's journey's end. He is loved and revered by generations who have listened and been inspired. In a world of all too frequent darkness, Ernest Levy OBE is a Single Light." Addressing the gathering, Lord Janner said: "We are so proud to have so many survivors here tonight who are able to share their stories with the next generation. Your personal memories, along with the experience, facilitated by the HET, for students from every UK school to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau, is a true testament to our commitment to ensure the next generation make sure such an event never happens again." The publication of the book was made possible thanks to sponsorship and donations from many sources and after publication costs, the author's proceeds from the sale of the book will go to the HET and Jewish Care Scotland. The HET was established in 1988 with the aim of educating young people from all ethnic background about the Holocaust and the important lessons to be learnt for today. The organization works in schools, universities and in the community to raise awareness and understanding, providing teacher training, an outreach program for schools, teaching aids and resource material. One of the Trust's earliest achievements as ensuring the Holocaust formed part of the National Curriculum for History and it continues to play a leading role in training teachers on how best to teach the Holocaust. In November 2005, the Treasury awarded HET funding of 1.5 million to support its Lessons from Auschwitz Project for teachers and 12-grade high school students. The funding will enable HET to facilitate visits to Auschwitz-Birkenau for two students from every school in the UK.