A Holocaust survivor whose family was wiped out by the Nazis will recount his horrific experiences at a West Midlands university this week.
Jack Kagan was a child when the Germans occupied Poland and just 14 when he escaped from a ghetto work camp, through a tunnel prisoners had dug, amid a hail of bullets, in September 1943.
He joined a group of Jewish freedom fighters helping the Russians repel the Germans and, two years after war ended in May 1945, he moved to London, raised a family and became a successful businessman.
Mr Kagan, now 76, who will speak at the University of Wolverhampton on Holocaust Memorial Day on Wednesday, said: "I eventually settled down to a normal life but I can never forget the past."
He was just 12 years old when the German SS marched into Novogrodek in Belorussia in July 1941. His compatriots were routinely executed in groups by the occupying Wehrmacht soldiers.
Worse followed when most of his community, including his uncle and aunt and other relatives, were rounded up, stripped naked and slaughtered in the forests of nearby Peresika.
Jack was among a "lucky" group of 1,500 Jews who escaped death because his parents were skilled workers and, in December 1941, he and his family were enslaved in a ghetto.
"When they were creating the ghettos, the head of the family had to approach the SS officer and answer two questions - profession and number of children," said Mr Kagan.
"There was just a sign with his glove, right or left: life or death. My father was a saddle-maker and we were spared."
The youngster had his toes amputated in a DIY operation after frostbite set in and he lived in fear daily of being executed.
His mother, father, sister and aunt were taken away and killed before they could escape. ..TEXT: * Ticket information from Julie Hayward on 01902 322145 or visit email@example.com