Students took part in a webinar for Holocaust Memorial Day, which was Wednesday 27th January with a special viewing of a testimonial from Eve Kugler, which can be viewed here.
Some of our students have written articles for the Thamesmead Times newspaper about their thoughts after watching the film
The Holocaust – Eve’s story
With Holocaust Memorial Day on the 27th January, it was an honour to watch and listen to Eve Kugler, a holocaust survivor, tell the powerful story of life as a Jewish child in Nazi Germany. Eve spoke of the gradual changes made over the early years, slowly taking away Jewish people’s freedoms. She remembers when one day her and her sisters were no longer allowed to go ice skating which they used to love. She recounted the “Kristallnacht” or “Night of the Broken Glass” where her family’s apartment was rampaged, and windows smashed. This was particularly poignant, having learnt about “Kristallnacht” in history lessons. Seeing her describe and remember the night gave a face and a voice to the facts we’d learnt. It made them even more of a reality and was so valuable in having a proper understanding of the Holocaust, much more so than an information video, facts on a page or even a visit to a concentration camp. One positive aspect of Eve’s testimony was the miraculous reuniting of her and her parents after she and her sister had been sent to America. She reflected on how lucky she was that her family had survived, despite her parents’ time spent in the horrific conditions of the transit camps. Eve didn’t tell her story for many years but later wrote a book called ‘Shattered Crystals’ with her mother which she urges everyone to read. From her incredible story and this precious first-hand information, I have learnt so much that I didn’t know about the horrors of the Nazis and the Holocaust. I will remember her words for a long time and will educate myself more on the topic, starting by reading her book.
By Amy – Year 11
Remembering the Holocaust
This week is Holocaust Memorial Week. We take time to remember the awful events of the Holocaust, and those that aren’t fortunate enough to be able tell their story today.
The Holocaust was a period in history during World War Two, when a large number of Jews were murdered because of who they were. The main target of the Nazis and most of the victims were Jewish (nearly seven in ten Jews in Europe were killed). They were placed into camps to be held prisoner or to die in gas chambers. People who were housing Jews/helping them escape the Nazis were also punished even if Judaism was not their faith.
Hearing Eve Kugler (a Holocaust survivor) tell her story was a great opportunity because we were able to hear a survivor’s testimony live, and we may never be able to hear another story from a survivor again – next time it could be up to us to spread the word of what happened those years ago.
When we listened to her testimony, we felt frustrated that humans would do this to each other just because they were part of another culture/religion. However, we also felt hopeful because Eve managed to survive it and spread her story, and we can prevent another event like this from happening if we share her story. It also made us feel shocked; this is because Eve said that she felt guilty to be the one to survive because it makes her think that maybe the person who would have taken her place as being a survivor may have needed it more. This is one of the reasons why she decided that she should tell her story so that she honored those that could have been a survivor like her. But as well having her family survive and being back with them after the struggle they went through whilst they were separated from each other.
We need to remember that something like this will happen again unless we do something about it. As Eve said, we need to treat others how we would like to be treated, and be good human beings. If you see someone being treated unfairly, don’t stand by – do something about it. Nothing will change if you don’t.
If you want to learn more about Eve Kugler’s experience as a Holocaust survivor, you can read her book, Shattered Crystals, here: http://www.shatteredcrystals.net/files/SHATTERED-CRYSTALS.pdf
“Be the light in the darkness.”
By Daisy and Izzy (9JBU)