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Skipton family's tragic links with the Holocaust revealed
Updated 8:37am Thursday 3rd July 2014 in News
A SKIPTON family's tragic links with the holocaust have been charted in a book inspired by the discovery, 60 years later, of cache of documents.
"Escape to Auschwitz , Hulda's Story" by Sonia Waterfall tells the tale of her mother Ilse's escape from Nazi occupied Austria to the UK, the death of her Jewish great-grandmother Gisela in a concentration camp in Riga, Latvia, and of her grandmother, Hulda's death either on route to Auschwitz or in the notorious concentration camp.
Ilse Waterfall - Frankie to people who knew her in Skipton and remember her behind the counter at JJ Waterfall's book shop in Sheep Street, - had stashed the letters and papers away telling nobody about them.
She died in 1994 but the documents were only discovered on the death of her husband,Sidney, in 2004, revealing the heartbreaking story of the separation of the three woman in 1938.
Miss Waterfall, who lives in Silsden, said: "My original idea was to write something just for the family but the family decided it would be interesting to other people."
The publication this month has now grown to include an hour long dramatisation of the story, which will be performed at Skipton Little Theatre, on Friday and Saturday, July 25 and 26, following the book signing at WHSmiths, the former Waterfall shop, on Thursday, July 24.
The letters start in 1938, when Hulda, who was a Christian but with a Jewish heritage, had moved to Rotterdam to be with her other daughter and to prepare to live in France where she hoped Ilse and her mother could join her.
The plan never materialised. Gisela failed to get away and "disappeared" in 1942 never to be seen or heard again.
Luckily, Ilse was able to escape Nazi Austria but sadly she was never to meet her mother again.
Hulda was eventually arrested in Nice and transported to Auschwitz just three months before the allied landings on the Normandy beaches on June 6, 1944.