Holocaust survivor tells her story to Sunderland pupils

Holocaust survivor Eva Clarke talking to pupils at Castle View Academy, Sunderland.

Holocaust survivor Eva Clarke talking to pupils at Castle View Academy, Sunderland.

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Youngsters at a Wearside secondary school heard first hand about the Holocaust.

Students at Castle View Enterprise Academy welcomed survivor, Eva Clarke, into the school as part of a visit organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust.

Eva was born in the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria, in April 1945.

Her mother, Anna, arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau in October 1944 and as her pregnancy was not yet visible, she was selected for slave labour near Dresden.

She remained there for six months, getting weaker by the day, while becoming more visibly pregnant.

Eva’s mother and her fellow prisoners were forced onto a train and when it arrived at Mauthausen concentration camp she went into labour, giving birth to Eva on an open cart.

The American army liberated the camp three days after Eva’s birth. After telling her and her mother’s story to the Sunderland youngsters, Eva held a question and answer session, to enable students to better understand the nature of the Holocaust and to explore its lessons in more depth.

Charlotte Russell, a history teacher at Castle View Enterprise Academy, said: “It was a privilege for us to welcome Eva Clarke to our school.

“Her testimony will remain a powerful reminder of the horrors so many experienced.

“We are grateful to the Holocaust Educational Trust for co-ordinating the visit and we hope that by hearing Eva’s testimony, it will encourage our students to learn from the lessons of the Holocaust and make a positive difference in their own lives.”

Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: “The Holocaust Educational Trust educates and engages 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.

“Eva’s story is one of tremendous courage during horrific circumstances and by hearing her testimony, students will have the opportunity to learn where prejudice and racism can ultimately lead.

“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.”