Exhibition commemorates Holocaust Memorial Day
AN EXTRA-ORDINARY story of 10,000 children who escaped Nazi Europe was the focus of an exhibition at Helena Romanes School to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day on Friday (Jan 25). Holocaust survivor and representative of the Holocaust Educational Trust Jo
AN EXTRAORDINARY story of 10,000 children who escaped Nazi Europe was the focus of an exhibition at Helena Romanes School to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day on Friday (Jan 25).
Holocaust survivor and representative of the Holocaust Educational Trust Joanna Millan visited the school in Great Dunmow to hold a workshop and speak to pupils about the experiences of young refugees and the difficulties they faced in adjusting to life in Britain without their parents after escaping concentration camps in Nazi Germany on the Kindertransport.
Holocaust Memorial Day is held on January 27 every year, chosen because it is the date of the liberation of the most famous concentration camp Auschwitz in 1945.
Organiser and Head of Humanities at the school Paul Martin said that the talk by Mrs Millan really inspired the pupils and made them aware of the history by hearing first hand from someone who was the same age at the time.
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Specialist School for Humanities Director Brian Williams said: "The children learn about the holocaust as part of the curriculum at GCSE and A-level, but to hear the story being told by an actual survivor really brought it all to life. 250 children were in the hall and they all listened very intently, in fact some were genuinely moved by it."
Mrs Millan spoke about her own personal story, from life in a concentration and transit camp at Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia to her arrival in Britain at the end of World War Two, Joanna was one of less than 100 children who survived out of the 15000 young people sent to the Czech camp.
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In the evening she gave further talks to the general public about her experiences. Mr Williams said: "It was very emotional, around 80 people came on Friday night to hear her story and ask questions on the events."
The exhibition will be on tour around Uttlesford this week and finish in the Friends Meeting House in Saffron Walden High Street on Wednesday February 6.
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