This week, our Year 9 students took part in a live webinar session with Karen Becher, an educator from the National Holocaust Centre and Museum, based in Nottinghamshire.
The aim of this interactive session was to discuss and explore who was responsible for the Holocaust, through studying the period of 1933-45 and listening to the experiences of Jewish survivors.
Holocaust Memorial Day is internationally observed every year on Wednesday 27 January.
In examining the effects of the process of genocide, our students were able to understand the importance of respect, critical and independent thinking. Karen shared various historical sources including Nazi propaganda materials, and photos demonstrating the role of 'bystanders' and 'upstanders' in the oppression of the victims of the Nazi regime. Students then shared their ideas around how these materials contributed to the increasing strength of Hitler's regime, and to the increasing number of hate crimes carried out against Jewish victims.
We were also able to use live polls during the session as a way to gauge how students' opinions were challenged and informed as the webinar progressed and more historical sources were analysed.
John Fieldsend, a Holocaust survivor, gave students a firsthand account of his experience living under Nazi oppression in the 1930s and 1940s, and shared a letter from his parents written in 1946 to him and his brother before their death in the Auschwitz death camp.
This informative and engaging session gave our Year 9 students the opportunity to ask John and Karen further questions and continue their deeper exploration around the notion of responsibility. There was also opportunity to reflect on why it is still hugely important that we as a school and a community, continue to discuss and educate ourselves about these historic events.
You can learn more about the work of the National Holocaust Centre and Museum on their website here.