Auschwitz 75: Tom Swarbrick left speechless at this caller's "utterly extraordinary" story

27 January 2020, 17:46 | Updated: 27 January 2020, 17:48

This caller told Tom Swarbrick the extraordinary story of his parents' bravery during the Second World War.

This caller's parents lived for 14 months in a sewer under the opera house in Poland to hide from the Nazis.

Henry from Harrow said, "It was a working sewer... they were hiding in small little channels that were off the main sewer so they couldn't be discovered by the German sentries."

There were ten people who survived living down there.

Henry said that for fourteen months they did not see daylight and to cope with these terrible conditions they would tell jokes.

"What my father did was even more brave, he went out of the sewer and he went into the concentration camp to try and locate my mother's brother and sister," said Henry.

"He changed places with a worker and went in for two days in to the camp," he said, "it wasn't successful so he returned to the sewer."

Prince William and Kate attend the Holocaust Memorial Day Commemorative Ceremony at Central Hall Westminster
Prince William and Kate attend the Holocaust Memorial Day Commemorative Ceremony at Central Hall Westminster. Picture: PA

Tom was dumbfounded, "That is utterly utterly extraordinary - he broke in to a concentration camp?"

"Yes he went in to the concentration camp," Henry said. He shared that the impact it had on his mother was that she became a "bundle of nerves" her whole life.

"When she came out the sewer, because she was 14 months in darkness she couldn't see properly and she felt dirty because she was still wearing the same clothes," he said.

Henry's father wanted to make a documentary about their experiences and did so, although his mother was reluctant to talk about the past.

Tom commended the extreme bravery of his parents and admired their mental fortitude.

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