Holocaust Memorial Day 2017

How can life go on?

The theme this year for Holocaust Memorial Day was ‘How can life go on?’ and focused on how communities who had been targeted and persecuted during the Holocaust rebuilt their lives and societies after they were liberated.

A group of thirty Year 9 students took part in a day where they explored this theme through the different perspectives of History, Ethics, Art, and the Rwandan genocide.

The Holocaust, and in particular, the experiences of Anne Frank, were introduced to the students at the start of the day by Gillian Walnes-Perry, the founder of the UK Anne Frank Memorial Society.

Explorations allowed students to discover how individuals and communities lived prior to the Holocaust and genocides, and how semblances of their communities and culture played a vital part in recapturing ‘normalcy’ after the horror and devastation they experienced.

During the day the students rotated through a series of carefully planned and expertly led workshops, developing and processing their individual responses to the Holocaust. They were able to respond to art work produced during the Holocaust, and how different messages are portrayed through different images and medias. The day finished with all students coming back together to reflect on how life had continued for survivors, and how important it is to keep remembering what happened so that we try to prevent it from happening again.

Throughout the day the students demonstrated a high level of sensitivity to the issues they confronted, and were able to give deep and thoughtful responses to the images and examples they had explored.

All thirty students said they had benefitted from the day, and some expressed a keen interest to learn more, and to become more active advocates for Holocaust and genocide education.

We extend thanks to the staff who were involved in the day, to the students for their mature approach, and to Mrs Walnes-Perry who undoubtedly enriched our day with her incredible knowledge, and work for the Trust.

Mrs Reynolds

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