A Holocaust survivor has made a hip-hop video dedicated to the man who saved her life 75 years ago.
Janine Webber, 86, lost both of her parents and her younger brother before the age of 10; her dad and brother were executed by SS officers while her mother succumbed to illness.
This meant that Janine, at just 10 years old, was left defenceless and could do nothing but wander around the countryside by herself while trying to avoid the Nazis. However, she managed to survive thanks to one kind stranger who risked everything to hide her and 13 other Jewish people on his estate.
The man – known only as Edek – hid Janine in an underground bunker along with 13 others, which he built for the sole purpose to hide them from the Nazis.
And although Janine says they lived in very poor and cramped conditions, she also says she owes her survival purely to the heroism of this young man.
Taking to Reddit, the 86-year-old told her story of survival while also sharing a music video she has made in honour of the man who saved her life.
You can take a look at the video here:
While introducing herself to the people of Reddit, Janine made clear her reasoning behind making the video, mentioning Edek by name.
I survived the Holocaust thanks to a stranger called Edek who hid me in a hole dug beneath a wardrobe for a year. After the war, I never saw him again.
I’ve now made a music video with Kapoo, a hip hop artist, to tell my story to young people. Ask me anything!
The post went viral quickly, receiving 34.6K up-votes and attracting 1.7K comments at the time of writing (January 28), less than two hours after it was posted.
Janine has not only created a hip-hop video about her story, but there is also a website dedicated to finding Edek, the hero of her story.
On the site, Janine describes how Edek’s bravery was ‘unimaginable’, stating that hiding Jewish people in an underground bunker could have led to his execution.
More than anything, I owe the fact that I managed to stay alive to the heroism of the young man who saved me and thirteen other Jews: Edek. Don’t forget, if he had been caught hiding us, he would have been executed, so his bravery is almost unimaginable.
If only I knew his last name. Because Edek is a common name in Poland, much like Edward in English. And although I have tried over the years to find him, my search has proved fruitless. Yet now, with the launch of this new film, we’re going to try again.
Despite becoming an orphan at such a young age and being forced to live in such poor living conditions, Janine recognises that she was one of the lucky ones.
Six million Jewish people were murdered during the Holocaust – along with hundreds of thousands mentally ill people, disabled people, and the Roma community. Despite this, the BBC reports a survey has found five per cent of UK adults do not believe the Holocaust took place.
The study also found that one in 12 believes its scale has been exaggerated, a frightening statistic when you consider the brutalities Holocaust victims faced every day.
Janine ended her Reddit post with a message for everyone to stand up to persecution, saying: ‘don’t let innocent people be badly treated’.
What an icon.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to [email protected]
A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).