The Holocaust Educational Trust is deeply saddened to learn of the loss of Fred Austin MBE

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

Fred Austin was born in 1928 in Ostrava, former Czechoslovakia and came to the UK in 1939 when the Nazis invaded.He was just 10 years old, travelling alone, and could only speak a few words of English. He was the only member of his family able to leave Czechoslovakia. He boarded the train and waved goodbye, not knowing that it was the last time he would see his mother and sisters – they were eventually rounded up and imprisoned, first in a ghetto, then in Theresienstadt, before being murdered in Treblinka.

Despite the difficulties he had faced at such a young age, he built a life, started a family, and had a successful career as a Head Teacher, including being the youngest headteacher of a UK Grammar School. Fred was honoured with an MBE for his services to charity and education in 2006. 

Fred Austin and KP low res

Fred was an avid supporter of Holocaust education and remembrance. He wanted young people to learn about the Holocaust, and what happened when the Nazis and their collaborators tried to murder the Jews of Europe. He was keen to ensure that they learn from the past, supporting the Holocaust Educational Trust and participating on our Lessons from Auschwitz Project.

Up until the very end, Fred determinedly supported this cause. In September last year, Fred joined His Royal Highness Prince William as he unveiled a memorial close to Fred’s hometown in the West Midlands to remember Major Frank Foley, a former British MI6 agent and Hero of the Holocaust, who saved over 10,000 Jewish lives.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.