Holocaust survivor and the nurse of Anne Frank Gena Turgel has passed away aged 95.

Described by the Holocaust Educational Trust as a “shining light”, Mrs Turgel was also known as the Bride of Belsen after she married a British soldier who liberated Auschwitz-Birkenau in which she was held by the Nazis. Mrs Turgel married Norman Turgel six months after he found her in the camp and her wedding dress, which was made out of a parachute, is now on display in London’s Imperial War Museum.

Anne Frank

Anne Frank

Born in 1923, she was 16-years-old when the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939 and survived four concentration camps during the Second World War. When transferred to the Bergen-Belsen camp, Mrs Turgel worked in a hospital there where she nursed Anne Frank, the 15-year-old author of a diary which changed the perception of the Holocaust forever.

Speaking about Anne Frank, who sadly died in the concentration camp, the Holocaust survivor said: “I washed her face, gave her water to drink and I can still see that face, her hair and how she looked.”

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Mrs Turgel on her wedding day

After being liberated from the concentration camp, Mrs Turgel had to rebuild her life without the loved ones she lost in the horror. Her brother was shot dead by the SS, another brother escaped and was never seen again and her sister and her husband were also shot dead.

Gena Turgel’s book I light a candle is still available to purchase and would be a fitting tribute to a Holocaust survivor who spent her life making sure nobody forgets the horrors of the genocide.