Mania Kay, a Holocaust survivor, had a message. She spent most of her life post World War Two speaking out against racism.

She spoke about what it was like to come face to face with hate at concentration camps like Auschwitz and later on in Bergen-Belsen.

The long-time Kitchener resident recently passed away. Friends say Mania’s legacy of education, tolerance and love will always be remembered.

“Her mission was not to allow those who perished to ever be forgotten.” Barbra Pressman says of her friend.

Kay was one of the founding members of the Waterloo Region Holocaust Education Committee.

“She began to realize that was her mission because she survived,” says Wanda Cakebread, Chair of the Waterloo Region Holocaust Education Committee. “She was to tell the story.”

Kay’s family died at the hands of the Nazis. In April of 1945, the British liberated her camp.

Justine Nadeau says her father was there. He was one of the members of the British Tank Division that freed Bergen-Belsen. “She said the British soldiers were amazing. They gave their shirts of their backs, their food. They were amazing.”

Kay came to Canada in 1948 with her husband and she lived in Kitchener for almost 60 years.

Her friends all say that despite bearing witness to the atrocities of the Holocaust, Mania managed to find the good in life and in people.

Kay died on Wednesday at the age of 90 years old.