Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall Delivers Powerful Speech on Impact of Anne Frank's Diary

Camilla asked for a commitment to "tackle hatred in any of its terrible forms"

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Photo: Chris Jackson - Pool/Getty

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall asked for a commitment to "tackle hatred in any of its terrible forms" ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day on Jan. 27.

Camilla, 74, joined Holocaust survivor Eva Schloss, the 92-year-old stepsister of Anne Frank, at the annual Anne Frank Lunch for Holocaust Memorial Day in London on Thursday, where they lit candles in memory of victims of the Holocaust. The event also marked the 75th anniversary of the publication of Anne Frank's diary.

"I first read Anne Frank's diary when I was in my teens," Camilla, an avid reader, said in a speech. "The freshness and vitality of her writing drew me into what I felt was friendship with her. But Anne's story is one of six million. Six million stories that need to be told, heard and remembered to honor those lives that were lost; and to warn us of the consequences of extreme hatred."

She added, "Let us not be bystanders to any kind of injustice or prejudice. Let us learn from those who bore witness to the horrors of the Holocaust, and of all subsequent genocides, and commit ourselves to keeping their stories alive, so that each new generation will be ready to tackle hatred in any of its terrible forms."

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall Eva Schloss
Eva Schloss and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. CHRIS JACKSON/POOL/AFP/Getty

Other speakers included actress Dame Joanna Lumley, who gave her support for The Anne Frank Trust U.K., an education charity that takes Anne Frank's story into schools and trains young people to challenge all forms of prejudice.

Pupils from schools in Dundee, London and Rotherham spoke to Camilla about their experiences of prejudice and of being trained by the Anne Frank Trust as anti-prejudice ambassadors.

In March 2020, Camilla's husband Prince Charles, who is patron of the National Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, commissioned a series of artists to paint seven people who lived through the trauma of the Holocaust. It has been recorded in a new documentary, Survivors: Portraits of the Holocaust.

Eva Schloss Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall ( Joanna Lumley
Eva Schloss, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Joanna Lumley. CHRIS JACKSON/POOL/AFP/Getty

Charles, who has painted for years, gave an interview for the documentary Survivors: Portraits of the Holocaust, which will air on the BBC in the U.K. on January 27.

"As the number of Holocaust survivors sadly, but inevitably, declines, my abiding hope is that this special collection will act as a further guiding light for our society, reminding us not only of history's darkest days, but of humanity's interconnectedness as we strive to create a better world for our children, grandchildren and generations as yet unborn; one where hope is victorious over despair and love triumphs over hate," Prince Charles said in a statement.

Kate Middleton also honored Holocaust victims with a 2020 photography project, in which she captured survivors with their grandchildren.

"The harrowing atrocities of the Holocaust, which were caused by the most unthinkable evil, will forever lay heavy in our hearts," the Duchess of Cambridge, 40, said. "Yet it is so often through the most unimaginable adversity that the most remarkable people flourish. Despite unbelievable trauma at the start of their lives, Yvonne Bernstein and Steven Frank are two of the most life-affirming people that I have had the privilege to meet."

"They look back on their experiences with sadness but also with gratitude that they were some of the lucky few to make it through," she added. "Their stories will stay with me forever. Whilst I have been lucky enough to meet two of the now very few survivors, I recognize not everyone in the future will be able to hear these stories first hand. It is vital that their memories are preserved and passed on to future generations, so that what they went through will never be forgotten."

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