Trude Levi

Born Gertrud Mosonyi on 23 April 1924, in Szombahely, Hungary

From May to July 1944 Trude was in the local ghetto and two Hungarian camps, before being deported with her parents to Auschwitz. She was selected for slavelabour in a munitions’ factory, where she joined a sabotage group.

In March 1945 Trude was taken back to Germany, finishing with a death march. "As we cross the bridge there is a beautiful sunrise. I collapse. I know I will be shot but it doesn’t matter anymore. Two guards butt me with their guns, then say: Oh, leave her, she’s not worth a bullet."

After liberation, Trude refused to return to Hungary, and became stateless. She arrived in the UK in 1957 with her first husband and son and took British citizenship. She met her second husband, Franz Levi, in 1969.

She worked as librarian and archivist in the Wiener Library, the Overseas Development Institute and University College London.

From 1980 she has spoken publicly about her experiences, which inspired the play Across the Bridge. Trude’s own books include A cat called Adolf and Did you ever meet Hitler, Miss?.

In 1996 Trude was the first person to receive an Honorary Doctorate for work in genocide education. In 2008 she was awarded the Officer’s 1st Class Cross, Order of Merit, by the President of the German Federal Republic.

"We were born by accident with the colour, culture, civilisation, and religion... therefore we have no right to think that we are better than others. We are all individuals and are responsible for how we behave towards our fellow human beings."