During the week commencing Monday, September 29, all of the year 6 pupils visited the Beth Shalom Holocaust Centre which is near Newark.
This is a very special visit for the year 6 pupils as it is very unlike any visit we have ever been on before.
Arriving at the centre was strange as it was in the middle of the country - nothing for miles. It was all very, very quiet.
Mrs Orme, our teacher, explained that this was because the centre’s grounds are a memorial for all Jewish people who lost their lives during World War Two.
It was really moving coming off the coach and reading all the plaques, each person had a rose plant in their memory.
The first part of our day was a tour around ‘The Journey’. During this time we learnt all about a fictional character called Leo. He was a 10 year old Jewish boy who grew up in Berlin during the 1930s.
We first entered his living room and we got to play with his toys, try on his clothes and listen to his wireless. We learnt so much about him. Following this we entered Leo’s school room.
At this point Hitler had told all Germans that they must not be friends with Jewish people. The school room was full of maps, pictures of Hitler, propaganda and the Hitler Youth uniform.
Here we learnt that Leo was invited to the front of the class whilst the other pupils poked fun at him for his large ears and nose. We continued on through ‘The Journey’ and had to find Leo’s family hiding place in his father’s tailor shop. The journey with Leo ended on the Kindertransport, here we learnt that thousands of children left Europe for safety before war broke out.
After such an interesting morning we couldn’t wait for the afternoon session. We were very excited to meet Holocaust survivors. We met gentlemen called Simon and Bernard.
We were very fortunate to listen to their own stories, look at their pictures and ask them questions. This was such a unique opportunity, their experiences were simply fascinating.
We really can’t ever imagine going through anything like that. When we walked back to the coach I was a bit sad that we were leaving. I paid my respects by placing a stone on a pile, each stone represented a child who died during the war.
To summarise our visit we found it emotional, fascinating, moving and inspirational.
We felt very privileged to meet the gentlemen and we learnt so much, such as always treat others equally and never allow racism to take place. The lessons we learnt from our visit we will never forget.