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Duchess of Cambridge reunited with Holocaust survivor at royal garden party

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 25/05/2022 Benedict Smith

The Duchess of Cambridge has said she will “never forget” the story of a Holocaust survivor she met at a Buckingham Palace garden party.

Manfred Goldberg, 92, was one of the first guests Kate greeted on Wednesday as rain descended on the third garden party to take place at the palace this year.

She first met Mr Goldberg in 2017 on a visit to Stutthof, the concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland where he spent eight months, and spoke to him by videolink last year.

“As she came along, she said, ‘Oh hello Manfred, how lovely to see you’,” said Mr Goldberg, who works for the Holocaust Education Trust.

She thanked me for all the hard work I have been doing over the years

Manfred Goldberg

“She also thanked me for all the hard work I have been doing over the years, speaking to thousands of school children, mainly of A-level grades, who are old enough to really understand.

“Then I complimented her on remembering our previous conversations years back. She said, ‘I will never forget’.

“So I think it made an impact. Yes, absolutely.”

 (PA Wire) © Provided by Evening Standard (PA Wire)

Mr Goldberg, who was born into an Orthodox Jewish family in Kassell, Germany, was sent to a Nazi labour camp in Latvia at the age of 11.

In 1944, he was moved to Stutthof – where tens of thousands of Jews were murdered – and was set free days after his 15th birthday the following year.

He met the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the camp 72 years later, having a conversation that Kate later said “remained absolutely clear in my mind”.

Mr Goldberg said: “They had never set foot in a concentration camp and they actually had the – I wouldn’t say foresight – but the clarity that they needed to speak to people who actually experienced it as it was then.

“There is a walk-through museum now… to an outsider it would still be cruel, but it has all been sanitised.

“The questions they asked us clarified to them how much worse it actually was.”

Kate met Manfred Goldberg on a visit to Poland in 2017 (Bruce Adams/Daily Mail/PA) (PA Archive) © Provided by Evening Standard Kate met Manfred Goldberg on a visit to Poland in 2017 (Bruce Adams/Daily Mail/PA) (PA Archive)

As he spoke, Mr Goldberg held the hand of his wife Shary, to whom he has been married for six decades.

Also at the party were the Duke of Cambridge, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, Princess Beatrice and roughly 8,000 guests.

Among those met by Sophie, Countess of Wessex, were representatives from the disability charity Mencap, for whom she ran part of the London Marathon in 2020.

The royals appeared on the palace terrace at 4pm as the National Anthem was played under an overcast sky.

They produced umbrellas shortly afterwards when the rain began to fall in earnest, with a band striking up There’s No Business Like Show Business in the distance.

The weather eventually brightened up and palace staff began moving among the crowd offering ice creams on silver platters.

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