PUPILS at a Washington school are taking part in a week of events to remember the Holocaust.
Biddick School Sports College is hosting the Anne Frank exhibition throughout this week, as well as welcoming guest speakers into the school, as part of Holocaust Memorial Day, which takes place on Sunday.
The date, which marks the liberation in 1945 of the biggest Nazi death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, is aimed at remembering not only the genocide of Jews, but also subsequent genocides and other victims of exclusion and hatred.
A group of students at the Biddick Lane school have trained as Anne Frank Ambassadors and throughout this week will be showing fellow pupils, staff and members of the community around the exhibition.
Also during the week the school will be inviting four speakers in to take part in the assemblies.
The first, on Monday, was Musa Hassan Ali, known as Ali, who, living in Rwanda was caught up in the worst genocide of the late 20th century, in 1994, where in just 100 days, an estimated one million people were murdered.
Ali lost 13 members of his family, including his parents, and he fled to seek asylum in the UK.
The 38-year-old said: “Every single day I remember that terrible time. I remember the family I lost, the family I left behind and the terrible, terrible memories of what I saw.
“It happened so quickly and there was nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.
“Everywhere you saw bodies, people decapitated and without limbs – hacked to death. I can’t find the words to describe it.” Another speaker was Martin Stern, who was born in 1938 and, living in Amsterdam, was arrested at pre-school and along with his one-year-old sister was sent to the Theresienstadt Ghetto in Prague.
For most people this was en-route to the extermination camps, but somehow the two youngsters were not put on the train to Auschwitz with the other children.
Other speakers at the Washington school included George Loble, who lost six family members to the Nazis, and was just 12 years old when his affluent family managed to secure a passage to England for him in March 1938.
Also, Sylvia Hurst, who was 18 when she left Germany in 1939 and was one of just four members of her immediate family to survive the Holocaust.