Barry attends assembly with Holocaust survivors to mark Memorial Day
Joining with Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, Holocaust survivor, Gena Turgel MBE and students from Kingsbury High School, Barry Gardiner marked Holocaust Memorial Day this morning.
Each year on 27th January, Holocaust Memorial Day commemorate the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Nazi concentration and death camp. This year the theme of Holocaust Memorial Day is 'Untold Stories', and opportuntity to reflect on the little known experiences of lose and hope during the Holocaust.
The assembly was led by students from the school who read poems and prose which reflected on the importance of the Holocaust. Two Student Ambassadors, who visited Auschwitz-Birkenau last year as part of the Holocaust Educational Trust's Lessons from Auschwitz Project, spoke about the impact the visit had on their lives and the relevance of the Holocaust to young people today.
The students also heard from the Chief Rabbi, who spoke about the courage of those who risked their lives to save the lives of others, and the way their inspiration lives on, giving us hope in troubled times. He also discussed the importance of listening to stories of moral courage in times of crisis because of their power to lift us when we too live through crisis.
Students were also joined by Gena Turgel MBE, who survived a number of Nazi concentration and death camps including Auschwitz-Birkenau and Bergen-Belsen, who shared her own experiences of the Holocaust. Gena was born in Krakow, Poland, the youngest of nine children. Moving into a ghetto when entry and exit points to the country were shut off my the Nazis, Gena lived in painful and distressing conditions with little food and very little security. Loosing siblings along the way Gena was transferred between multiple concentration camps, avoiding the Final Solution as best she could. Liberated when Bergen-Belson was liquidated, Gena married a British Soldier and eventually moved to the UK.
Holocaust Memorial Day, created by an MP moved by his visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau, works to educate people on the events of the Holocaust and remind them of the lessons that must be learnt from the atrocities carried out.