Holocaust Survivor

Holocaust Survivor

  Click here for a video clip from Martin's talk
   

The moving account of a Holocaust survivor was delivered to students as part of Tupton Hall School's very first Genocide Awareness Day.

In 1944 Martin Stern found himself  thrust into the horrors of a Nazi concentration camp at the age of just five. But he lived to tell his story and now delivers powerful testimony to audiences through the Holocaust Educational Trust.

Martin, now aged 75, survived the Westerbork transit camp in Holland, where he grew up, and also Thereseinstadt camp-ghetto in what was then Czechoslovakia.

More than 100 gifted and talented students listened as he described the social, economic and political climate which led to the Nazi invasion of Holland. And the subsequent persecution and atrocities suffered by the Jewish population.

Students were from Year 9 and also Tupton Hall’s History Club. After Martin’s talk a brief question and answer session allowed them to show their exceptional knowledge of the subject, as well as a desire to make a difference in preventing future crimes against humanity.

“It was a privilege for us to welcome Martin Stern to our school,” said History teacher and Gifted and Talented Co-ordinator Mr Jonathan Beeley.

“Learning about his experiences and ideas for how we can all help make a positive difference in the future has undoubtedly motivated our students to learn from history.” 

“Genocide Awareness Day is therefore designed to encourage students’ desire to make a difference both locally and globally as responsible, proactive participants in society.”

Students enjoyed a full day’s programme of activities run by the AEGIS Trust and Holocaust Educational Trust, learning about children from the Theresienstadt ghetto, creating messages to commemorate those children’s lives, and learning about contemporary genocides.

Finally, AEGIS Trust launched their Change for a Tenner initiative. Students were given small amounts of money with which they need to make a profit within two weeks through fundraising events.

Said Mr Beeley: “This initiative absolutely links to the school’s motive to encourage the students to proactively make an impact on matters that are important to them.”

“As one of the largest secondary schools in the county and a key driver for cultural change in the local community, we are steadfast in our belief that events such as these can make a lasting, tangible difference to young people’s expectations of, and actions within, their communities.”

The visit was part of the Holocaust Educational Trust’s extensive all year round Outreach Programme, available to schools across the UK. 

A Holocaust Educational Trust spokesperson said: “Our aim is to educate and engage students from across the UK, from all communities about the Holocaust and there can be no better way than through the first-hand testimony of a survivor. Students have had the opportunity to learn where prejudice and racism can ultimately lead."

An AEGIS Trust spokesperson added: “At the Trust, we impart the history of the Holocaust to young people, to ensure that we honour the memory of those whose lives were lost and take forward the lessons taught by those who survived.”