On Friday 24th January, as part of the Holocaust Memorial Day commemorations, Year 9 students attended a live webcast by Susan Pollack MBE.
The students listened to Susan recount her experiences in the infamous death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau and on the death march to one of the German concentration camps, Bergen-Belsen. Susan then talked of her life since liberation and how she spreads the message of tolerance and respect for all people, regardless of race or creed.
The students have spent the last term examining life in Nazi Germany and the Holocaust so they were able to understand the wider context of Susan’s experiences. Lessons took place before the webcast so that students could discuss their expectations and prepare for Susan’s testimony. Subsequent lessons have allowed the students to share what they thought of Susan’s testimony and write thank you cards to her for sharing her story. These cards will be sent to the Holocaust Education Trust who will pass them on to Susan.
Here are some of our students’ thoughts and reflections.
“Susan’s testimony has taught us to never give up hope, even if the whole world is against you.”
“We thought that hearing Susan’s testimony was a once in a lifetime opportunity because some people won’t be able to hear what we have heard.”
“It is important to hear a Holocaust survivor’s testimony because it informs us about one person’s experience of a large-scale tragedy.”
In their thank you card, Charlotte Robinson and Lexia Hartley wrote:
“We would like to thank you (Susan) for sharing your story and inspiring others to do better in the world…We learned a lot from your testimony and we appreciate your bravery. We hope that you continue to share your story.”
“Listening to a Holocaust survivor’s testimony is important because such experiences need to be known so that it does not happen again.”