Alec Ward, 1927-2018

The Holocaust Educational Trust is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Holocaust survivor Alec Ward.


Alec was born on 1st March 1927 in Lublin, Poland. When the Nazis occupied his town, he and his family were forced into a small ghetto in Magnuszew, before being moved to the Kozenice Ghetto in Radom. Realising the dangers facing them, Alec’s father told him to take his 9 year old brother, Laib, and escape. They spent three months in the forest before joining Jewish slave labourers and returning to the ghetto with them, where they went through a Selektion. Those who the Nazis deemed unfit to work were shot, including Alec’s brother Laib. Alec was transferred to the Slave Labour Camp of Skarzysko Kamienna where he endured two years of brutal and unimaginable treatment. He was eventually moved to a series of other camps in Chestochowa, Buchenwald, and Flossberg Concentration Camp. As the war came to an end, he was sent to Mauthausen Concentration Camp in Austria, where he was liberated on 5th May 1945 by American forces.

In October 1945 he flew to England, one of 732 child survivors of the Holocaust brought to the UK who are known as The Boys. He was the only survivor of his family.

Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said:

“Alec Ward was a wonderful man. He dedicated his life to ensuring the world remembered what happened during the Holocaust, reliving his most painful memories to ensure that the horrors of the past would not be forgotten. He had a warmth and kindness that shone through, even when talking about the darkest of times. We are all deeply saddened to hear the news of his passing and our thoughts and prayers are with his family. It is our mission to ensure that Alec's story and legacy lives on for generations to come.”