Pupils commemorate victims of genocide with Holocaust Memorial Day activities
Star Academies’ schools commemorated Holocaust Memorial Day by reflecting on the atrocities of Hitler’s regime, remembering the victims of Nazi persecution and raising awareness of genocides which have occurred around the world since WWII.
Holocaust Memorial Day, held on 27 January each year to mark the liberation of concentration camp Auschwitz, is an international day of remembrance for the millions of people murdered in the Holocaust under Nazi persecution and in the genocides which followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
Pupils across Star’s 24 primary and secondary schools took part in a range of activities to learn about the Holocaust and genocides around the world, including attending community events, writing to Holocaust survivors and hearing from those who have experienced genocide.
Pupils and staff from Eden Girls’ School, Waltham Forest attended the Government’s national memorial service held in Westminster on Sunday 27 January. The service was attended by public figures, including politicians and Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, as well as survivors of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides.
Pupils at Eden Girls’ School, Coventry heard first-hand about the horrors of the Holocaust from Reverend John Fieldsend. Rev. Fieldsend was one of 669 children rescued from Czechoslovakia before WWII as part of Sir Nicholas Winton’s Kindertransport rescue effort, which brought thousands of refugee Jewish children to Great Britain.
Uri Winterstein, whose parents gave him up when he was just one month old to be cared for by a neighbour because they realised it would be very difficult to keep a baby quiet if they needed to go into hiding, visited Eden Girls’ School, Slough to share his experiences with pupils. Thankfully, despite being sent to the Theresienstadt concentration camp Mr Winterstein’s parents survived but nine members of his family were killed in Auschwitz.
Children from The Olive School, Hackney and Simon Marks Jewish Primary School, which are next door to one another, joined together to sing a moving rendition of No Wars Will Stop Us Singing in the council chambers at Hackney Town Hall. They were also visited by Rabbi Herschel Gluck OBE who spoke to the children about the Holocaust.
Barkerend Primary Leadership Academy in Bradford learned about the bravery of Albania’s Muslims and Christians who saved the lives of thousands of Jews by hiding them in plain sight by takin them in, giving them local-style clothing, Albanian names and false documents. Whilst pupils at Highfield Leadership Academy in Blackpool made paper chains on which they wrote messages to remember victims of genocide, which will be placed on the British memorial at Auschwitz during a school visit later this year.
A number of Star schools also took part in the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust’s Postcard Project, in which students learned about Holocaust survivors and then wrote a personalised message to them on a postcard.
Mufti Hamid Patel CBE, Chief Executive of Star Academies, said:
“It is the 80th anniversary of the start of the Second World War this year and, as its horrors fade from living memory, it is more important than ever that we listen and learn from those still with us who survived the Holocaust and other genocides that have sadly taken place since.”
Olivia Marks-Woldman, Chief Executive, Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, said:
“Star Academies has partnered with the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) for a number of years. The HMDT works with our schools to facilitate a meaningful and impactful programme of activities to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, which is an important part of the school calendar and helps us to remember the atrocities of genocides and develop awareness in our pupils.
“As people came together across the UK to mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2019, we were pleased to see schools and communities making a strong commitment to remembering all those murdered during the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution and in the genocides which followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
“We are delighted that Star Academies is committed to marking the day with students in all of their schools. Their events contribute to more than 11,000 taking place across the country – in schools, workplaces, local authorities, libraries and many more varied settings.
“At the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust we are pleased to see people learning lessons from genocide, for a better future – particularly at a time when rising antisemitism, anti-Muslim hate and other forms of prejudice are causing real damage across society.”
For further information about Holocaust Memorial Day visit www.hmd.org.uk.
Added By: Star Academies | Date Added: 8th Feb 2019 | Posted In: Latest News