It is with great sadness that we inform the community that Martin Bennett, our inspirational Holocaust speaker, passed away on 21 January at the age of 90, a few days before the beginning of the 2016 HMD Kingston Workshops. Martin had told his story both at KLS and and Kingston Surbiton and District Synagogue (KS&DS) to hundreds of students of local schools for the last eight years and touched the hearts of all of us young and old. He was an exceptional human being and a hero to all who met and knew him.
A few years ago we filmed Martin and three of our speakers and we showed Martin’s film at the workshop last Tuesday at KS&DS as planned some months ago. We were fortunate that Rabbi David Mason (formerly Rabbi of KS&DS and now Muswell Hill) came to introduce Martin’s film and talk about him to the girls of Coombe School. Rabbi Mason was instrumental in persuading Martin to talk about his experiences only about 12 years ago. Martin’s two daughters are former pupils of Coombe School. One of Martin’s daughters, accompanied by her husband, also attended the workshop and she spoke to the students about her dear father. It was an extremely moving experience for us all but one which was a fitting tribute to a great man. Our deepest sympathies go to Priscilla, Martin’s wife who was his soulmate and tower of strength for over 60 years of marriage.
Click here to read the tribute to him written by Karen Pollack the Chief Executive of the Holocaust Education Trust.
Click here to read the obituary in the Surrey Comet.