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Holocaust Survivors’ Day

    08 May 2017

Last October, Sherfield School’s Head of History, Peter Booth, made his Sixth Form aware of the Holocaust Educational Trust, a charity that runs exceptional trips for young people eager to learn more about the Holocaust. As part of their Lessons from Auschwitz project two Sherfield Sixth Form pupils were able to visit some of the most infamous sights of the Holocaust.

The following comes from Jasper Morgan and Caitlin Noble:

“The visit had a huge impact, providing an emotional connection with our academic background research.  The sensory experience of seeing the camps through our own eyes, and shivering in the bitter cold enabled us to more fully connect with their emotional intelligence.  Comprehending the horror of this episode in history left us both with a personal and emotional experience that we will never forget.

As part of the field trip, we visited both Auschwitz and Birkenau, and attended two seminars, at which we listened to a Holocaust survivor’s testimony, and discussed the contemporary relevance. After what was an incredibly moving, humbling and harrowing experience we began to plan our Next Steps project, one of the requirements of this trip. We jointly organised an assembly, delivering a presentation on our experience, and personal response to the visit. Following on from this project, we have masterminded a Holocaust Survivor’s Day. This is an afternoon and evening open to all hosted by the Head Master, Mr Fisher, and our local MP, Ranil Jayawardena. We will hear first-hand, a Holocaust Survivor’s personal story alongside a multi-generational perspective from both pupils and teachers.  Our survivor may be well known to those that study history.  Walter Kammerling witnessed the Kristallnacht pogrom in 1938, when Jewish synagogues, shops and homes were destroyed across Germany and Austria. He lost his parents and younger sister to the camps, but survived through the Kindertransport to Britain. He joined the British Army in 1944. His story has appeared in two books and can also be found in the third episode of the BBC documentary Nazis: A warning from History.

We hope you can join us, on the afternoon of Thursday 15 June, to learn more about the Holocaust, meet Walter Kammerling and our MP.   It will be a unique, and stimulating presentation and discussion.  Further details will follow.”

 

Jasper Morgan and Caitlin Noble

April 2017

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