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Students "Inspired" by Holocaust Survivor

Year 8 and Post 16 History students learn about the Holocaust from Sharron Sipple from the Holocaust Educational Trust aned Susi Bechhofer, Holocaust Survivor

President Kennedy School was honoured to host a one-day conference on the Holocaust led by Sharon Sipple from the Holocaust Educational Trust.

Students considered the ideas of Perpetrator, Collaborator, Bystander and Resister.  Examining the people who led the persecution of Jewish people in Nazi Europe and those who helped the Nazi persecution.  Also learning about the many bystanders who watched the persecution and out of fear could not or did not help, and those brave people who risked their lives to help Jewish people escape certain death.

Susi Bechhofer who escaped Nazi Germany on the Kindertransport gave her Testimony to our year 8 and A level History students. It was a humbling experience for everyone, with 40 students and several staff all sitting in total silence as they heard Susi’s story. Susi was a twinand she and her sister ended up in an orphanage as her Jewish mother could not look after them, and their German father was unable to help them.  They both eventually made their way to Wales.  There Susi was raised as a Christian, not knowing anything of her Jewish heritage.  Eventually she discovered who her parents were and met her surviving family.  She decided to call herself Susi, the name her mother had chosen, rather than Grace the name her adoptive parents had given her.

It was obvious that we all got a lot out of the day, and especially from Susi’s Testimony.  With the Year 8 students showing the A Level students how to ask questions in a sensitive, thoughtful and insightful way.  Susi remarked at how excellent student questions were and Darryn in Year 8 stood out in particular.  Year 8 took the message that it was important to know who you are and where you are going.