'The world has learned nothing from the Holocaust' - survivor

Warning: This story contains content some people may find distressing.

Ruth Filler and her family fled Nazi Germany when she was nine years old, and settled in New Zealand.  

She says it wasn’t until later that she realised how lucky they’d been to escape when they did - her future husband, Sol Filler, spent three years in Auschwitz.

He survived, but 74 members of his family were among the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust.  

Today is 'Yom HaShoah' on the Jewish calendar - Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Newshub Nation spoke with 89- year-old Mrs Filler about life under Nazi rule, her escape to New Zealand and the suffering endured by her husband.

She says there were examples of deepening racism all around her in Germany, but as a child she didn’t understand their full significance.

"There were signs on park benches and out the front of cinemas saying "Dogs and Jews not allowed," she recalls.

Mrs Fillers remembers Adolf Hitler visiting her town during a rally, during which her parents were harassed for refusing to wave a Swastika flag as the dictator passed them in the street.  

They already had family in New Zealand, so were eventually able to get a permit to leave Germany. They arrived aboard the SS Remuera in 1929.

Many years later, she met her husband while in Sydney.

Mr Filler has since passed away but she says that it was his story of survival in Auschwitz that pushed her to spend her life ensuring the stories of the Holocaust are never forgotten.

But, she says, the world has learnt nothing.

"Nothing whatsoever. There have been many Holocausts since, it goes on everyday. We see it in Syria, we saw it in Rwanda.

"I don't think anybody has learned anything."

Ms Filler warns people to be aware of racial hatred in any form.

"You have to stand up and say 'I don't want you to say this, I'm not comfortable with you saying this'."

The Holocaust, she says, is what happens when you stay silent.

Watch the video for the full interview.

Newshub Nation.

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