A Level Historians Attend University of Sussex Holocaust Memorial Day

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On Wednesday 6 February, a group of Lower Sixth A Level Historians attended the University of Sussex Holocaust Memorial Day, with this year’s theme being ‘Torn From Home’.

The day opened up with a lecture by Professor Richard Ovary of the University of Exeter; he spoke in detail about the role that WWII played in formulating the Holocaust, and on whether the Allies could have done more to challenge what was happening in the death camps. The highlight of the day was a discussion between Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, a survivor of Auschwitz, and Niklas Frank, whose father was Dr Hans Frank, the Governor of Nazi-occupied Poland.

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Imogen Smith, one of our Lower Sixth pupils, commented that “I found the Holocaust memorial talk extremely moving and a very fulfilling experience to be a part of. The lecture surrounding the topic of why the Holocaust occurred and why different countries in 1939 weren’t able to prevent it was interesting; as Professor Ovary said, ultimately, if there was no war there would have been no Holocaust.”

She went on to say that “the interview between Anita and Niklas was extremely eye-opening, especially as they were talking so openly and with such humour about their experiences. I was able to get a real sense as to how this horrific event has affected their lives ever since. Anita's story of how the cello saved her from being murdered was incredible; their discussion was incredibly inspiring and their commitment to educating people to ensure that something like the Holocaust never happens again is of such value.”

The pupils found this an incredibly thought-provoking day that fittingly acted as a timely reminder of the need to fight prejudice and discrimination at every level.

Watch Professor Richard Overy’s talk, filmed by the University of Sussex, here: 

Watch Anita Lasker-Wallfisch and Niklas Frank’s talks, filmed by the University of Sussex, here: 


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