A day focused on the Holocaust and persecution
On Thursday 9th May, Year 10 took part in an RE conference, this one focusing on the Holocaust.
The day started off as an entire year group in the hall. Mr Pandya gave us all a quick lesson on the Holocaust. The emphasis of this lesson was on the individuals behind the statistics. Often with any statistic from any historical or modern event where individuals have been affected, it is easy to forget that these victims had a life to live. This led onto an activity in which we created our own character. We gave this character a name, an age, a hobby, an occupation, a nationality and a reason as to why they were targeted in the holocaust. Each character was laid out across two tables, filling them entirely. This provided us all with an insight into just how many individuals were affected.
As period 2 began, Melody Cremer, a sixth former, came to inform us further about the holocaust and what is being done today to remember it. She was part of a programme which the school runs together with the Holocaust Educational Trust where she was able to visit one of the most famous concentration and extermination camps to exist, Auschwitz. Now Melody works to remember the holocaust as an Ambassador for the HET and she talked to us about a memorial that is proposed to be built in central London to honour victims. The aim of this is so no one forgets and therefore we learn from the mistakes of the past.
Nearing break time, we moved onto looking at some quotes focusing on the holocaust. Each carried a message and meaning to think about. One that i can recall is: ‘thou shall not be a victim, thou shall not be a perpetrator, but above all, thou shall not be a bystander’. In my opinion this quote can be applied into many situations and tells us to make an effort to help fix what is wrong. In period 3 and 4 we listened to a holocaust survivor, Hana, share her story. She and her sister were children in Czechoslovakia when the war broke out. Life for them soon became difficult as the nearing Nazi ideals were putting them in danger. So hana and her sister took a train over to England. This was part of the Kindertransport programme for children that were targeted by the war and needed to escape to safety to be provided with a better life. Hana continued to grow up in this country with a few families. Her education carried on and she went on to study chemistry at university. She has spent time over the last few years trying to spread her story. She has visited her hometown since and does so every year- even being provided with an award for her work. This part of the day was interesting and we managed to hear a first hand story.
The day was ended by watching a film called ‘The Freedom Writers’. Which is based on a true story set in America, where a class of students who were impacted greatly by their home lives, gangs and other negative factors from the outside world, managed to change against all the odds. They are taught about the holocaust at one point to emphasise that working against one another will only account for hatred and war. They write their stories down in a diary. This film once again showed that humans must learn from mistakes.
This R.E day was eye opening and provided us all with information that we will not forget.
by Fatimah Aswania, 10 Seacole