College reflects on 'One Day' of the Holocaust
In memory of those who experienced the Holocaust - those who survived as well as those who were lost - our staff and students this year have come together to share our experiences, our feelings and our sadness whilst reflecting on 'One Day' of the Holocaust, the theme for this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day.
I feel that one of our students, Amy (Year 9), really pinpoints the feelings of 'One Day' in the Holocaust through this extract from a story she has written to commemorate this day. In the extract, she wrote:
“In April this year, the British had liberated the camp, freeing us. However, in some ways we could never escape. Roughly 60,000 were starving or mortally ill. Most of us rejected food after starvation for so long. An epidemic of typhus had raged through the camp, and those infected had the risk of dying. Unburied bodies lay on the ground, undignified, neglected. We were free, but it didn’t feel that way.”
Amy evokes the feelings of those who experienced this time and shows how what has been experienced can never be forgotten and what may seem like freedom may never truly be that way. Through a presentation delivered by Sophie (Year 8) to my History class, this same message came across through her discussion. The loss of identity and the tattoo you would receive, act as a reminder that for many people they didn't just experience 'One Day' in the Holocaust, but many days of suffering that still continue to this day.
Our staff have been reflecting on their experience of visiting concentration and death camps and how we felt on that 'One Day,' experiencing what life was like for people in the Holocaust. I hope reading the experiences of the staff will help students to achieve the aim of Holocaust Memorial Day, which is 'To learn from the past, to empathise with others and to achieve a better future'.
Through our lessons within the History and Sociology Department we have encouraged students to not only reflect on 'One Day' in the Holocaust but also to bring awareness of the other Genocides that have plagued this world. We will continue to do this, to ensure that awareness is raised so mistakes of the past will not be replicated in the future.
As always, our students have made us proud through the way that they approach these topics, the discussions they are willing to have about them and the empathy they show to those who have experienced them.