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Perspectives on the Holocaust

Perspectives on the Holocaust

'Perspectives on the Holocaust’ – Hosted by Dame Helen Hyde and Radley College

A truly exceptional Event was held at Radley on Tuesday November 15th, when Radley 6.2s, together with Year 13 students from St Helen and St Katharine and Watford Grammar School for Girls, participated in the ‘Perspectives on the Holocaust’ Conference. Introduced by Dame Helen Hyde (above, top), former Head of Watford Grammar School for Girls, who hosted the Conference, there were thought-provoking talks on key aspects of the Holocaust from Professor Dan Stone, University of London and Professor Tim Cole, University of Bristol (below, bottom). In addition, all 200-plus students present had the chance to participate in Workshops on various Holocaust-related themes.

But the highlight of the Day was undoubtedly the opportunity to listen to and talk with no fewer than thirteen Holocaust Survivors: including Susan Pollack (below), originally from Hungary, who survived both Auschwitz and Bergen Belsen.

Report by James Gosling, A Social 6.2

A truly exceptional Event was held at Radley on Tuesday November 15th, when Radley 6.2s, together with Year 13 students from St Helen and St Katharine and Watford Grammar School for Girls, participated in the ‘Perspectives on the Holocaust’ Conference. Hosted by Dame Helen Hyde, the day included hearing interesting and insightful talks from two University professors, Professor Dan Stone, University of London and Professor Tim Cole, University of Bristol. However, the highlight of the day without any shadow of a doubt was being able to engage in a workshop with previous Holocaust survivors.

The day started with breakfast in Hall and was shortly followed by the introductory talk from Dame Helen Hyde, former Head of Watford Grammar School for Girls, who spoke briefly about the importance of researching one’s family history and questioning the past. 

Following the introduction, we moved into our smaller workshop groups and learned specifically about the more particular parts of the Second World War and Nazi occupation. In our group we learned about the Channel Islands and how they were occupied by Germany throughout the War and yet, to this day, we still know very little about what happened on Guernsey, Jersey and many more.

After lunch we stayed in our small groups and met with Holocaust survivor, Steven Frank, who gave the most moving and interesting story of the day. We were told of how Mr Frank was born in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, when in 1940 the Nazis invaded and occupied the country. At just five years old, his life and that of his two brothers changed very quickly because of their Jewish heritage.  His parents were not religious and thought of their identity as Dutch (although his mother was from England), but to the Nazis that made little difference. Steven told the incredible tale of how he and his mother and brother were moved from camp to camp until they finally ended up at Theresienstadt. Fortunately for Steven, the war ended before they were deported to Auschwitz.  He and his brothers were three of only 93 children who survived Theresienstadt, out of the 15,000 children who were sent there. This incredible tale was emotive and poignant.

Having heard Mr Frank, we moved back tot the Theatre and heard talks on the Holocaust from Professor Dan Stone, University of London and Professor Tim Cole, University of Bristol. These talks were both informative and gave a more historical and technical take on the events of the 1940s, which wrapped up the day.

To conclude, many thanks to all involved for organising such an interesting and moving day, especially the Holocaust survivors who told us of their remarkable story. We really must not forget the atrocities that took place during the Holocaust.

Below is a video of the event.

 

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