Holocaust survivor tells of war horrors

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Pupils at Wetherby High School learned of the horrors of World War Two from a Holocaust survivor.

Iby Knill told Year 9 students of her childhood in war-torn Czechoslovakia, her experiences in the Resistance to her capture and release from internment at Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

Andrea Barnes, Wetherby High School headteacher, said: “It is a privilege for us to welcome Iby Knill to our school and her testimony will remain a powerful reminder of the horrors so many experienced.

“We are grateful to the Holocaust Educational Trust for co-ordinating the visit and we hope that by hearing Iby’s testimony, it will encourage our students to learn from the lessons of the Holocaust and make a positive difference in their own lives.”

Her harrowing but informative testimony was followed by a question and answer session to enable students to better understand the nature of the Holocaust and to explore its lessons in more depth.

The visit was part of the Holocaust Educational Trust’s extensive all year round Outreach Programme, which aims to introduce school-aged pupils to the Holocaust during World War Two with first-hand narrative of a survivor’s personal experiences.

The Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) was established in 1988 to educate young people from every ethnic background about the Holocaust and the lessons to be learned for today.

It succeeded in ensuring that the subject formed part of the National Curriculum.

Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust added: “The Holocaust Educational Trust educates and engages students from across the UK, from all communities about the Holocaust and there can be no better way than through the first-hand testimony of a survivor.

“Iby’s story is one of tremendous courage during horrific circumstances and by hearing her testimony, students have the opportunity to learn where prejudice and racism can ultimately lead.

“At the Trust, we impart the history of the Holocaust to young people, to ensure that we honour the memory of those whose lives were lost and take forward the lessons taught by those who survived.”