News & Events

Y9 Holocaust Memorial Day

Year 9 remembered the Holocaust on Monday 27th January by participating in a number of activities to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day.

This included learning the story of a British survivor, Leon Greenman. We covered how a series of events led to Leon, his wife Else and two-year-old son Barney, arriving at Auschwitz-Birkenau.  Else and Barney were brutally murdered on arrival in the gas chambers and Leon selected for work. In order that the world did not forget the horrors of the Holocaust, Leon gave regular talks to school children about his experiences, and also wrote a book, An Englishman in Auschwitz.

The story of the Greenmans was followed by exploring an interactive timeline of Nazi Germany.  From this we were able to ascertain what the Holocaust was and the events that led to the ‘Final Solution.’ Although the Holocaust refers specifically to the systematic murder of Jews, we learnt about other equally important groups targeted by Hitler including Roma, black people and gay men.

Finally, Year 9 covered the liberation of Bergen-Belsen by British forces on 15th April 1945. We listened to  Richard Dimbleby broadcast as the troops entered the camp. The BBC initially refused to play his report, as they could not believe the scenes he had described; it was only broadcast after Dimbleby threatened to resign.

In the afternoon Year 9 were able to respond to the day through creating memorials to remember the victims of the Holocaust. We were incredibly impressed with the standard of work and their maturity in handling this very difficult topic. I know the whole school benefited from their focus and creativity during Tuesday’s Holocaust Memorial Day assembly, where they shared the artwork, poetry, music and dance that they created, dedicated to remembering the six million victims of the Holocaust.

Thank you to the History, RS, Art and Music Departments for making this day so successful. 

Ms Katy Fenwick

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