On Wednesday 22nd February we were delighted to welcome a very special visitor, Mr Arek Hersh, to our school. Arek Hersh was born in Poland in 1928 and is a survivor of the Holocaust.
The Holocaust was the persecution by the Nazis of 6 million Jewish people. 5 million people of other ethnic groups such as Roma people, Polish people, political opposers, people with disabilities, different sexualities and religions were also killed.
Together with his wife, June, they recounted Arek’s time at various concentration and death camps, including Auschwitz, and the inspiring story of how he survived.
Arek spoke about the many jobs he was forced to do, and retold some of the horrors he saw there during this deeply tragic time. He answered thought-provoking questions from students, regarding his faith during his imprisonment. Arek also spoke of his move to England following the liberation of the camps and how he learned English whilst finding a new home here, after losing all of his family.
It was very moving to hear Arek’s story and the students received an unforgettable message. Mr and Mrs Hersh concluded with the notion of showing kindness to all and standing up against discrimination whenever you hear it.
In the library we have a collection of relevant books by the entrance, which provide an insight into this time. Reading is a great way to learn about and remember this tragic event.
Many thanks to Ms Evans and Mr Hinchley for delivering the Holocaust education workshop to prepare students for taking part and to Ms Evans for organising this incredibly important visit.