Kate Middleton shot personal portraits of Holocaust survivors for a special memorial exhibition
On Monday, January 27th, Kate Middleton debuted her two personal photographs of Holocaust survivors that will appear in an exhibition hosted by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, Jewish News, and The Royal Photographic Society. The exhibition will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the Nazi concentration camp where more than one million Jews were murdered during World War II.
According to the Kensington Royal Instagram page, the subjects of Middleton’s portraits are Yvonne Bernstein and Steven Frank, both of whom shared their stories of survival with the Duchess of Cambridge while visiting Kensington Palace earlier this month. There, Bernstein and Frank posed for Middleton with a few personal items and their respective granddaughters.
“They look back on their experiences with sadness but also with gratitude that they were some of the lucky few to make it through,” Middleton said of Bernstein and Frank in a statement, per Instagram. She added that she was inspired to connect with Holocaust survivors after reading The Diary of Anne Frank.
“Their stories will stay with me forever,” Middleton said.
Frank—who posed with his two granddaughters, Maggie and Trixie—was one of 93 children who survived the Theresienstadt camp, out of a total 15,000 children who were sent there. Bernstein, who posed with her granddaughter Chloe, was hidden by her aunt and uncle in France during the Holocaust.
"It was a true honor to have been asked to participate in this project and I hope in some way Yvonne and Steven’s memories will be kept alive as they pass the baton to the next generation," Middleton said via Instagram.
The Duchess continued, per Vanity Fair: "Whilst I have been lucky enough to meet two of the now very few survivors, I recognize not everyone in the future will be able to hear these stories first hand. It is vital that their memories are preserved and passed on to future generations, so that what they went through will never be forgotten."
Middleton’s photos will hang alongside a grouping of 75 portraits of Holocaust survivors and their family members. Of the photographs, Frank said in a statement per People, “I would hope that the people who look at these pictures not only look at the beauty of the photography, but they will also think of the people behind the photos and their families that they lost in the Holocaust.”
Thankfully, Middleton and many other photographers are helping to make Frank’s hope a reality.