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HMD 2019 - Torn From Home

Posted at 3:54 pm on 26th February, 2019

Holocaust Memorial Day

The theme of of this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) was ‘Torn From Home’ and the day is commemorated annually on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, 27th January.

During the week of 24th January, Wellacre marked Holocaust Memorial Day with a series of learning and commemoration activities.

Year 7 and 8 students attended special assemblies, Year 9 students started their Holocaust Scheme of Learning in History lessons in the week prior to HMD 2019 and the whole student body took part in tutor time activities exploring the theme 'Torn from Home.'   

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Historians in Year 10 had the opportunity to take part in a live webcast with presenter Robert Rinder and Holocaust survivor Harry Spiro, who told his unimaginable war testimony.

Mrs O’Neill, Leader of Humanities, said:

“Delivering assemblies to Year 7 and 8 students also enables us to raise awareness and engagement prior to the Holocaust being studied in-depth in Year 9. For Year 10 students, the webcast interview was the next best thing to hearing a survivor talk in person and brought to life Harry’s incredible story.”

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Year 10 history students heard that Harry was 10 when Germany invaded his home country, Poland, and he was forced into a ghetto and a job in a glass factory.  In 1942, his job saved his life when the 22,000 who inhabited the ghetto was liquidated and only factory workers were moved on to a smaller ghetto before being sent on to a labour camp.   He survived a march from Rahmsdorf to Terezin, which was liberated by Soviet soldiers and in 1945 he was one of 1,000 child survivors to be allowed to settle in the UK.

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Year 10 student, Liam, said:

"It was interesting to learn about the Holocaust from Harry Spiro, even though it was so awful to listen to. It made me think about what others have been through.  I don't understand anyone who doesn't find it moving to hear about these events."