Long Road staff and students commemorated Holocaust Memorial Day on 27th February in an unusual but thought-provoking way. Heidi Gjertsen, Equal Opportunities Co-ordinator and Philosophy teacher at Long Road Sixth Form College explains:
“We wanted to bring home to students the numbers involved in and the impact of the Holocaust. At Auschwitz-Birkenau there is a glass cage containing 25,000 pairs of shoes. This represents the number of people gassed each day at the height of the Holocaust. To replicate this on a smaller scale we asked students and staff to bring in old pairs of shoes, which throughout the day were placed in a wire cage in the college quad. At the end of the event, the shoes were taken to a shoe bank to be recycled or reused.
“The theme of this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day was ‘Speak Up Speak Out’, so we also gave students an opportunity to state out loud different portrayals of the Holocaust: a poem, the statistics and, finally, a message of hope.”
As well as adding shoes to the cage, students also watched films related to the Holocaust.