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Memories of the Holocaust

Published Monday 20th of March 2017 09:57:11 PM

In February we received a very moving visit from Harry Bibring, when he came to share his experience of being a Jew in Austria in the 1930s. Born in December 1925 in Vienna, Harry enjoyed a happy childhood, along with his sister, Gerta. However, it was not to last - after the Anschluss in 1938, Harry’s life changed dramatically. He was forced to leave his school and anti-Jewish legislation had a huge impact on his childhood, and indeed, his later life. In his talk to the girls (from Year 9-Upper Sixth) Harry described how his Father’s menswear business was looted and destroyed during Kristallnacht and went on to talk about the impact of his parents’ decision that he and his sister should leave for Britain on the Kindertransport. Following Harry’s hugely moving testimony an educator from the Holocaust Educational Trust ran workshops with girls in Year 9 which picked up on some of the themes from Harry’s talk – considering the ways in which Jewish people were persecuted and also how different groups of people responded to the Holocaust. There was a discussion about how we now all have the option to do something in life when things are not right - people can protest, march and ultimately vote, whereas the Jewish community in the 1930s and 40s had no such choice. At the conclusion of the session everyone agreed that it is better to try and do something about a situation that is wrong, than to stand back and do nothing at all.
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