Students at a Hartlepool school were given the chance to meet a Holocaust survivor to learn about the consequences of the atrocity.
St Hild’s Church of England School pupils were able to speak with survivor Uri Winterstein when he came to the school to talk about how the Holocaust affected families and individuals.
The Holocaust was a genocide during the Second World War in which Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany systematically murdered some six million European Jews.
Mr Winterstein’s meeting took place at the school on King Oswy Drive on Friday, February 2, to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day.
Holocaust Memorial Day, which took place on Saturday, January 27, is an annual international event and a time for everyone to pause and remember the millions murdered by the Nazis and in subsequent genocides.
It aims to ensure that the horrors of the Holocaust are never forgotten.
During the visit Mr Winterstein spoke directly to Year 10 pupils and shared his story with the youngsters.
Headteacher Tracey Gibson said the visit had been a moving and important experience for pupils.
She said: “Holocaust Memorial Day holds a key place on the calendar at St Hild’s Church of England School, as it is important to us that our pupils are reminded about the extreme consequences of prejudice and racism.
“Last Friday, our Year 9 pupils were able to hear, via webcast, the emotional story of Janine Webber and today we welcome Uri Winterstein to our school so that Year 10 can hear, first hand, how the Holocaust affected families and individuals.” She added: “This is living history and will help our pupils think about what this means to their lives today.
“We are grateful to Janine and to Uri for sharing their stories”
After the two experiences both Year 9 and 10 Year 9 pupils said the stories of the two Holocaust survivors had left a lasting impact on them, saying that Ms Webber and Mr Winterstein will never be forgotten.
Year 9 pupil Sarah Hunt, listened to the webcast interview with Janine Webber and met Mr Winterstein.
She said that listening to the two stories had ‘special experience.’
She said: “The webcast interview we had first gave me a valuable insight into the persecution of Jews, including the ghettos and Gestapo.
“Meeting Uri also provided me with a special experience that helped me understand the consequences and impact of the Holocaust.”
Year 10 pupil Adam Strong added that the meeting had been a ‘privilege.’
He said: “It was a privilege to meet Uri and to find out how the Holocaust effected people and his family.
“I won’t forget him.”