A Holocaust survivor has loaned personal items to University of Huddersfield’s £1m Holocaust Heritage and Learning Centre.

Heinz Skyte will loan a number of items to the new centre which is due to open next year.

He said: “To the visitors who come here this is perhaps just history, but to me it is my life.

“It is very important for me to share some personal items with the centre as they are evidence for the events of the Holocaust.”

Holocaust survivor Heinz Skyte to loan personal items to Unis £1 million Holocaust Heritage and Learning Centre. Pictured is Centre Director Emma King, Holocaust survivor Heinz Skyte (centre) and Shulmans LLP Simon Jackson

The story of the Holocaust, how it happened, the impact on people’s lives and its relevance for today will be told through an exhibition featuring historical artefacts and the stories of those who experienced it, many of whom settled in Yorkshire.

The centre is likely to attract thousands of visitors, taking people on a journey from the rise of the Nazis in Germany and the occupation of Europe through to Germany’s surrender in 1945.

Mr Skyte narrowly escaped the atrocities of Kristallnacht, known as the Night of the Broken Glass.

Holocaust survivors' stories to be included in University of Huddersfield heritage centre

He recounts the turbulent times leading up to 1939, describing horrifying memories of torch-wielding Nazis lining the streets, burning synagogues and seeing his father sent to Dachau concentration camp just because he was Jewish.

He explained more on the artefacts he’s loaning to the Huddersfield centre.

He said: “One of these documents is a letter from my wife’s headmaster written in 1938 when she was a young girl, banning her from the school, solely based on her Jewish faith.

“Another is a heartfelt note from my mother to her parents at the time they were sent to Theresienstadt concentration camp where they sadly died just two weeks later.

Theresienstadt in Czech Republic - the story of the Nazi concentration camp that was "beautified" for visitors is re-told by Act One with the brand new play Welcome to Terezin by Philip Glassborow

“These items don’t just teach people of what happened, but of how genocide, in all its horror, quickly become acceptable to so many.”

Holocaust Heritage and Learning Centre director Emma King said: “More than 70 years on since the end of the Holocaust we must capture these accounts and preserve them to ensure they are not lost forever.

“Meeting with Heinz has been incredibly humbling and adds priceless detail to our archive collection, all of which will be located at our centre at the University of Huddersfield to educate and inform countless generations to come.”

The centre has received support from a host of benefactors, including funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund in excess of £600,000, backed by the University of Huddersfield, Pears Foundation, the Association of Jewish Refugees and Shulmans LLP, a UK top 200 law firm based in Leeds.