On Thursday 17 October 2019, Year 13 History pupils from Omagh High School attended a seminar delivered by Holocaust Survivor Tomi Reichental at the Sacred Heart College in Omagh.
Tomi told pupils of his early life growing up in Czechoslovakia and then of his family’s ordeal once the Nazis annexed the Sudetenland and eventually ordered the deportation of all Jews across Europe to specially built camps where they would either be forced to work excruciatingly long hours or would be killed right away on arrival. Tomi spent over two years in the Bergen-Belsen camp and experienced the heartbreak of losing loved ones and friends in conditions which can only be described as horrifying. Tomi was one of the fortunate ones who managed to survive this unimaginable ordeal and remembers fondly the exact moment the Bergen-Belsen camp was liberated by the British Army on 15th April 1945. Tomi then moved to Israel and eventually came to settle in Dublin in the Republic of Ireland with his wife where he has been residing for the past 50 years.
The Year 13 History pupils were truly captivated by Tomi’s inspiring story of survival and felt extremely proud and privileged to have met him in person. Omagh High School would like to extend huge gratitude to Tomi Reichental for sharing his experience with us in person and for the two specially dedicated books gifted to the school by Tomi and also to Mr Devine from the Sacred Heart College who organised and hosted this event brilliantly.