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Holocaust Memorial

Posted on: 04/02/2019

Last week, Hatch End students have actively participated in Holocaust memorial events. Both Lola Stirling and Emily Man, two Year 13 Historians, are ambassadors for the Lessons from Auschwitz Project funded by Holocaust Education and have been charged with continuing awareness for the importance of Holocaust education.

On the Monday, myself, Lola and Emily attended a memorial event at City Hall organised by London Mayor Sadiq Khan. The theme of Holocaust memorial this year is ‘Torn from Home’. We had the privilege to hear a first-hand account from Susan Pollack, an Auschwitz survivor, who had dedicated her life to continuing to educated people about the Holocaust. Her main message is one of remembrance, but also hope of hope; by educating the youth of today we can attempt to reduce the possibility of devastating atrocities happening again in the future.

The ceremony commemorated the victims of the Holocaust and reflect upon those affected by more recent genocides. This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the end of the Genocide in Cambodia and the 25th anniversary of the Genocide in Rwanda. Sokphal Din, a survivor of the Cambodian genocide, highlighted the need to work together to end any form of discrimination across the world.

On Tuesday, Emily Man (Yr13) shared her personal experiences of her trip to Auschwitz in a 25 minute assembly to Year 12 and 13 students. She spoke about how it felt to visit Auschwitz and the importance of remembering the individuals who are commemorated in the many displays within Auschwitz I. The assembly was powerful, evocative and memorable. Emily also very skilfully illustrated her assembly with her own drawings and sketches, as well as with photographs which she took, a poem and a very informative video clip.

On Thursday, Emily and Lola ran a workshop for passionate Year 8 students. Firstly telling them of their personal experiences of visiting Auschwitz and the information they have learned being ambassadors for the ‘Lessons from Auschwitz project’. Emily and Lola then gave Year 8 students specific scenarios about individual responses to Nazi persecution in the war, discussing the difference between individuals who had a passive or active response to the persecution, whilst highlighting whether each individual had a positive or negative impact.

To continue Hatch End’s Holocaust Memorial programme, next month Year 8 and Year 12 History students will participate in a memorial workshop at Belmont synagogue. They will be immersed in specialist-led workshops, whilst also hearing first-hand from a Holocaust survivor. I will ask the students to share their personal experiences of this trip in the next newsletter.

Miss Ervin, Head of History