Barnsley College (@BarnsleyCollege) students and staff have taken part in a variety of activities over three days in order to learn more about the Holocaust, its survivors and the importance of reflection and respect on Holocaust Memorial Day (Wednesday 27 January 2021).
Students attended a live webcast hosted by the Holocaust Educational Trust. The session gave them the opportunity to hear from Eve Kugler BEM (British Empire Medal), Holocaust survivor, who shared her testimony. Eve was awarded a BEM in 2019 for her services to Holocaust education and regularly speaks to thousands each year through the Holocaust Memorial Trust.
Students engaged with the testimony of Eva Schloss MBE, an Austrian-English Holocaust survivor, memoirist and step-daughter to Otto Frank, the father of diarist Anne Frank. Eva spoke of her family’s experiences during the Holocaust as well as the importance of raising awareness of the Holocaust and educating the generations beneath her so that the events are never forgotten.
In her testimony Eva said:
“We are getting on and soon we won’t be around anymore. We are afraid that people will appear in the future and say that the Holocaust never happened so it is very important that we tell the story of what happened to the younger generation so they can carry on our story.”
Students also took part in the Holocaust Memorial Trust’s photography competition which inspired them to submit photos related to this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day theme: Be the Light in the Darkness. This theme encouraged students to consider the dark depths of humanity whilst reflecting on the ways individuals and communities resisted that darkness before, during and after genocide.
Hollie Wilson, a Level 3 Art and Design student, was chosen as one of the winners and said:
“I chose to enter the Holocaust Memorial Day photography competition because I believe it is important to never forget the pain endured and to always remember the survivors who found the light in the depths of the darkness.
“It is a huge honour to be one of the winners, and to receive a copy of the book ‘Survivor: A portrait of the survivors of the Holocaust’ by Harry Borden. I think educating yourself is important in never allowing yourself to forget.”
Claire Hill, Student Services Team Leader at Barnsley College, and instrumental in facilitating the events, added:
“With what is happening in the world and what is being shown in the media, I think it’s really important for our young people to be educated in tolerance and acceptance. Awareness days like Holocaust Memorial Day are a key lesson for our students in what travesties could happen and are happening around the world. I hope it opens their eyes and engages them in trying to make a difference.”
Barnsley College is committed to being actively involved in the social and cultural development of our community, raising aspirations and driving social mobility.