Young Citizen: Grandson of a Holocaust survivor ensures his story is never forgotten

PUBLISHED: 11:05 07 December 2017

Zachary Igielman speaking at the Holocaust Memorial Day event at Valentines Park. Photo: Ann-Marie Abbasah

Zachary Igielman speaking at the Holocaust Memorial Day event at Valentines Park. Photo: Ann-Marie Abbasah


A teenager who has made it his mission to ensure that the amazing story of his grandfather’s life is never forgotten is this week’s Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Young Citizen Award nominee.

Zachary Igielman, 17, who attends Kantor King Solomon High School, Forest Road, Barkingside,

has shared the story of his grandfather who was a Holocaust survivor with hundreds of people.

Hillel Chill Igielman, called grandpa Charlie by Zachary, was born in a small Polish town called Biablobrzegi in 1928.

In summer 1943, Chill, 15, was sent to a camp in Wehingen, Germany by the Nazis, where labour was difficult and exhausting

Two year later, Chill was saved by American troops but sadly discovered that his parents, Fischel and Brucha, and his siblings, Nicha, Sima and Pinchas, had been taken to the extermination camp Treblinka and murdered.

In his memoir, A Record of The Early Life of Hillel Chill Igielman, he wrote: ”I cried solidly for a week at the loss of my family and have never shed a tear since.”

Now, Zachary has taken it on as his responsibility to pass on his grandfather’s story.

Over five days, he showed a presentation on the life and legacy of his grandfather, to every student at the school.

On top of this, he also delivered the presentation to a large audience in Valentines Park earlier this year.

His nominee Venetia Portland Matthews said: “Zachary showed utter dedication to the talk and was passionate about keeping the memory of his grandfather alive.

“He was committed to bringing the story to the largest possible audience, so that more people would benefit from the knowledge of his grandfather’s story.

“He acted as a leader in his school and a role model to his community

The 17-year-old also gives his time on a weekly basis as a leader at the local Jewish Lads’ and Girls’ Brigade (JLGB) and at their yearly summer camp.

The award is sponsored by The Exchange Shopping Centre, which provides each monthly winner with a £30 gift card.

The Young Citizen of the Year will be crowned at next year’s Mayor’s Community Awards.

You can nominate any person from Redbridge, as long as they are under 25, by emailing

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