Thursday 22 February 2018

On Friday the 9th February 2018 , Year 9 History students visited The Holocaust Centre in Laxton.

The day started with an introductory talk and discussion with one of the centre’s educators.  We learnt about how Jews were taken to concentration camps and about their merciless treatment at the hands of the Nazis.  The rest of the morning was spent in the permanent exhibition at the centre, exploring Jewish life in Nazi Germany, the treatment of the Jewish race throughout history and ultimately, their mass murder in extermination camps such as Treblinka and Auschwitz.

The centre has a huge memorial for the 1.5 million children who perished in the Holocaust; every visitor is asked to place a pebble onto a pile to remember a child who was murdered.  This memorial is obviously forever growing and changing and it is estimated that it will take 75 years to have a pebble in place for every child who lost their life.

The highlight of the visit was when we were given the once in a lifetime opportunity to listen to a Holocaust survivor’s story. Iby Knill was a teenager in the Holocaust.  She was born in Slovakia but after several years evading capture in Hungary, she was finally tracked down and taken to Auschwitz.  She was one of the fortunate few who lived to tell the tale.  After fifty years of silence, Iby started to share her story and in the last 6 years, she has spoken to 50,000 people.   We found her to be a truly amazing woman and an inspirational speaker!

In Iby’s words, ‘We have to learn from history; if we don’t, future generations will make the same mistakes.’ Overall it was a great trip, which we all found enlightening, thought-provoking and moving.

By Lily Lidster and Josephine Paul Year 9