Earlier this term, Year 9 history students visited the National Holocaust Centre and Museum for a day of learning and reflecting. The day began with an introduction to the Holocaust and its impact on Europe. Students then walked round the museum, which was a visual timeline through the history of the Holocaust including the sights and sounds of events like Kristallnacht; a real eye opener to the past.
It was great to see the students listen to the full testimony of a Holocaust survivor. For the entire talk, students were respectful and interested in the narrative they were listening to and they relished in the opportunity to ask some thought-provoking questions. Learning about the history of an individual really brought the magnitude of the Holocaust into the perspective for the Year 9.
Finally, the students walked around the memorial gardens. While the entire day out was sentimental to the students, it was the memorials to the children that really hit home. We read the story of Anne Frank accompanying her statue, before entering the garden to remember the children of families who were entirely wiped out during the horrendous event. Finally, students had the opportunity to place a stone on the Shoah memorial. Each stone represented one child that died during the Holocaust and this was a really poignant moment for the students.
Overall, it was an overwhelming, yet reflective, trip for both students and staff and it was an absolute pleasure to participate in it.