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College commemorates Holocaust Memorial Day

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The College commemorated Holocaust Memorial Day on Friday 1st February.

Eva Clarke, who was conceived in a concentration camp, was invited to talk to 200 students. Some parents who had heard through parent communication that the event was taking place also asked if they might attend. In addition Ed Vuillamy, from the Observer, came to the talk. Eva talked about her parents. Eva’s father was taken to a different part of Auschwitz and did not know that his wife was pregnant. He was shot dead a week before the camps were liberated. Eva’s mother survived Auschwitz and gave birth to Eva on the way to another camp.

In Auschwitz there is a glass case full of 25,000 pairs of shoes removed from camp inmates before they were gassed. To represent this, students and staff donated old shoes, which were brought out class by class to a cage in the College Quad during the day.

Attached to the cage was a poem “We are the Shoes” by Moshe Szulsztein.There was also a screening in the Student Centre of films related to the Holocaust:

  • Boy in the striped pyjamas
  • The Counterfeiters
  • Life is Beautiful
  • Nicholas Winton –The Power of Good Documentary
  • Freedom Writers
  • The Pianist
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses Stand Firm Against Nazi Assault
  • Prisoner Number A26188: Henia Bryer

The Learning Resource Centre held an exhibition of books and other materials related to the Holocaust.

The event was organised by Equal Opportunities Co-ordinator Heidi Gjertsen.

Photo: Emma Borgeson (left) and Bryony Biamonti (right) are pictured adding to the collection.