Year 8 Visit to Holocaust Centre (1.3.13)
I walked slowly through the gates of The Beth Shalom Holocaust Centre. I knew this would not be a light-hearted day.
We passed a black marble monument, with all the names of the concentration camps on each side of the pillar. To my left I saw a large pile of stones and later we were informed each stone represents a child who lost their life during the Holocaust.
I was amazed to learn that discrimination against Jews began before World War Two in around the late 1920s. We all found it hard to believe one man could cause the death of millions.
Later, we explored the beautiful garden. White roses, which were not in bloom, are dedicated to friends and family members that perished. The garden was peaceful and quiet, yet had a looming sombre feeling. We walked around reading the names on the golden plaques. It was heart wrenching to see so many names, not as a statistic, but as an individual. I looked at each name and tried to imagine what they looked like or their personality. Also, with every name I saw I became not only sad but angry and confused. I didn’t understand how so many innocent people had to die just because of what they believed in.
Next, we were led into an octagon-shaped room, the shape of David’s star, and were shown a film. The film made me very upset and I admit I began to cry. The film gave us information about what happened and why people so freely discriminated against them. After the film we were introduced to a survivor called Bernard Grunberg. He seemed frail but had a brilliant personality. His story really put the pain into perspective. The loss of his family and the pain he went through was horrendous. He stayed strong throughout his life, it was extremely admirable. He informed us on the way Jews were brutally murdered.
This trip put everything into perspective. I am glad we were taught about this as the more we know the less chance this will ever happen again. Bernard’s story and the film will haunt me forever. I appreciated this informative trip. By Ella McManus (8E)
To see more photographs please click this link to the Excursions Gallery.