Torn From Home

Torn From Home

Students at Tupton Hall School marked Holocaust Memorial Day with a series of eye-opening educational workshops. 

Students from across the age spectrum listened to a very personal presentation from Freddy Naftel. His mother and grandparents fled Germany in 1934 to escape Nazi persecution and great-grandmother survived the concentration camps.

This year's theme for Holocaust Memorial Day was Torn from home, encouraging us to reflect on how the enforced loss of a safe place to call ‘home’ is part of the trauma faced by anyone experiencing persecution and genocide. 

Mr Naftel showed a hard-hitting photo slideshow as a reminder of the genocide committed by the Nazis during the Holocaust. He delivered 5 sessions throughout the day tailored to young people in Years 7, 8, 10, 11 & 12, including smaller group workshops. 

He described the personal aftermath - his childhood growing up in a Jewish family, how he only learned about the atrocities at the relatively late age of 16, and examples of his own disturbing experiences of anti-semitism and prejudice at school and while working professionally as a teacher. 

Contemporary examples of anti-semitism were discussed - grafitti, online abuse, and more - to demonstrate how the problem is still alive today. Mr Naftel posed the all-important question: "How would you react if you witnessed any of these behaviours?" 

Closing the session, Mr Leach, deputy head of Sixth Form, told students: "Having visited Auschwitz on two occasions myself, I wear the Holocaust Memorial Day badge at work so that I have an ever present reminder that we should not forget what happened and should always be working towards getting rid of discrimination and prejudice." 

Students also took part in a live webcast with holocaust survivor Harry Spiro, conducted by TV judge Robert Rinder.