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					Holocaust Memorial Day 2005 Survivors, Liberation and Rebuilding Lives

Ideas and resources for classroom activities and collective worship for Lewisham schools

collated by and on behalf of Lewisham SACRE


National Aims for Holocaust Memorial Day Statement of Purpose
The creation of a National Holocaust Memorial Day aims to: 1. Recognise that the Holocaust was a tragically defining episode of the 20th century, a crisis for European civilisation and a universal catastrophe for humanity. 2. Provide a national mark of respect for all victims of Nazi persecution and demonstrate understanding with all those who still suffer its consequences. 3. Raise awareness and understanding of the events of the Holocaust as a continuing issue of fundamental importance for all humanity. 4. Ensure that the horrendous crimes, racism and victimisation committed during the Holocaust are neither forgotten nor repeated, whether in Europe or elsewhere in the world. 5. Restate the continuing need for vigilance in light of the troubling repetition of human tragedies in the world today. 6. Reflect on recent atrocities that raise similar issues. 7. Provide a national focus for educating subsequent generations about the Holocaust and the continued relevance of the lessons that are learnt from it. 8. Provide an opportunity to examine our nation's past and learn for the future. 9. Promote a democratic and tolerant society, free of the evils of prejudice, racism and other forms of bigotry. 10. Support the view that all citizens - without distinction - should participate freely and fully in the economic, social and public life of the nation. 11. Highlight the values of a tolerant and diverse society based upon the notions of universal dignity and equal rights and responsibilities for all its citizens. 12. Assert a continuing commitment to oppose racism, anti-Semitism, victimisation and genocide. 13. Support our shared aspirations with both our European partners and the wider international community centred on the ideals of peace, justice and community for all.

Cover photograph taken at the Holocaust Museum, Jerusalem.


"Some say they escaped from the sword, but the sword is still in my heart"
Rwandan genocide survivor after her baby was killed in front of her

’The 60th anniversary of the liberation of the extermination and concentration camps presents one of the greatest opportunities to show our respect for the survivors of Nazi persecution and mass murder, and to listen to what they can tell us about the best and the worst of human behaviour.‘ ( After liberation from traumatic experiences, people whose lives were shattered find themselves facing the extraordinary task of putting the pieces back together. This year’s Holocaust Memorial Day theme provides an opportunity to focus on       how inhumane human beings can be towards each other the dangers of persecuting and scapegoating people because they are different how much or little human beings learn from the lessons of the past evil not being isolated in any one time or place the need to protect the future and to fight against evil how the human spirit can triumph over apparently unendurable and unspeakable experiences.

The events organised for Holocaust Memorial Day - both national and local - are designed to inform everyone about The Holocaust, its impact on the 20th century and beyond and lessons that can be learnt from it. Six million Jews were killed by the Nazis during World War 2. It is estimated that 15 million people died in total, including Slavs, Gypsies, gay men and lesbian women, disabled people, anyone of African descent, Christian pastors, Catholic priests, Jehovah's Witnesses, communists and many more who for one reason or another, were regarded as degenerates or considered racially inferior. The event also aims to provide an opportunity to reflect on more recent atrocities like those in Rwanda and Cambodia. But whether a school focus relates to the experiences of those who survived appalling experiences under the Nazis during World War 2 or whether schools relate the theme to genocides that have occurred before or since that time, this year a focus grounded by the national aims should enable schools to reflect on the strength and spirit of the survivors, the poignancy of their stories and the reality of their experiences from which we all have to learn about the nature of human beings.


There is a risk that a sole focus on the evils of World War 2 can limit the way in which pupils can learn from the Holocaust Memorial Day theme as it anchors evil in one time frame and with one people. Evil and the capacity to behave in an evil way is something humanity must own. The lessons we must learn from these experiences are that we too have the capacity for evil, we too could turn our backs on evil from fear for our own safety, or that of those we love, we too need to watch and guard against evil in our own society and our own time. The stories of survivors from all times and places touch us. They show us the worst and most depraved depths that humanity can sink to and they also show us the compassion and strength that human beings can demonstrate in times of extreme evil, and the courage and fortitude needed to rise above these experiences in order to live again. Educational Objectives for planning a Holocaust focus - Consider:        how communities can allow genocide to happen how the world can let genocides happen how victims cope with rebuilding their lives ways to commemorate the genocide victims ways of peace building among different communities survivors’ entitlements to truth, justice, reparations, restitution, compensation and rehabilitation. How communities can to work to prevent genocide from happening again.

The materials provided in this resource pack have been collated to provide schools with source materials for a range of purposes. Whether teachers are using them to provide a focus for work in classrooms linked to any of a range of curriculum areas or for class or school collective worship, pupils should be given space and time to reflect and make personal responses to the materials selected.

‘There are 350,000 survivors of the Holocaust alive today... There are 350,000 experts who just want to be useful with the remainder of their lives. Please listen to the words and the echoes and the ghosts. And please teach this in your schools’.
Steven Spielberg, Academy Award acceptance speech


Useful definitions
      one who lives through affliction; one who outlives another; one that survives in spite of adversity;

the act of liberating someone or something The state of complete personal freedom from suffering and its causes the act of freeing or liberating someone or something

‘Genocide is one of the greatest crimes that humans commit. It is an act of multiple murder, intended to destroy an entire group of people, because of who they are. It is usually the act of a government and its collaborators, seeking to destroy a part of the population under its control. Its perpetrators do not respect age, gender, occupation, religion or status. Every member of the group will be targeted for killing. Genocide is never spontaneous. It takes time to plan.
The word ‘genocide’ was coined by Raphael Lemkin, a Jewish Polish lawyer, following the Nazi destruction of the Jews of Europe. He used a combination of Greek and Latin words: geno (race or tribe) and cide (killing). He also proposed a Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which was approved by the United Nations in 1948.’ (

Genocide as defined by the United Nations Convention, 1948
Genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:  Killing members of the group  Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group  Deliberately inflicting conditions calculated to bring about its physical destruction  Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group  Forcibly transferring children of this group to another group

Someone who has fled their home country and sought refugee status in another country. Asylum is 'protection granted by a State on its territory against the exercise of jurisdiction by the State of origin’.

Someone who has fled their own country and is judged to have a 'well founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion'.


We can learn from the words of survivors And from the words that have survived from those who died.

The words of those who survived to speak of their experiences help us to appreciate the chilling experiences that human beings can impose on other human beings. The words of those who did not personally survive these atrocities have survived in their place, to encourage and support those who have come afterwards. What can we learn from the survivors or the words of those who perished? Can human beings learn the lessons of the past? Have the people of the world learned from the evil of the past? Could these experiences be replicated in the present or the future? Have we forgotten? Have we turned our backs and let it happen again? Could it happen again? Could it happen here? Is it happening somewhere now?

Hear the words of survivors. Reflect on their meaning. Look at your world through their eyes.


He who does not learn from history is doomed to repeat it.

George Santayana

‘First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out because I was not a communist. Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the labor leaders, and I did not speak out because I was not a labor leader. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me.’
The Reverend Martin Niemöller, a pastor in the German Confessing Church, spent seven years in a concentration camp.


‘It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can't build my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery and death.’ ‘Nobody need wait a moment before starting to improve the world’
Anne Frank

Born on June 12, 1929, Anne Frank was a German-Jewish teenager who was forced to go into hiding during the Holocaust. She and her family, along with four others, spent 25 months during World War II in some rooms above her father’s office in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. After being betrayed to the Nazis, Anne, her family, and the others living with them were arrested and deported to Nazi concentration camps. In March of 1945, nine months after she was arrested, Anne Frank died of typhus at Bergen-Belsen. She was fifteen years old.

‘Every individual who survived that other world, has a duty to leave documentation behind so that future generations will remember and will not forget.’
Tamara Deuel

Adnan Abu Ayed, - a Palestinian, Jericho 1993

‘it needs time because of the long hardness and killing on both sides. It needs time to understand each other, it needs time to forget our sufferings’


‘Stop Fighting There are wars in many countries. Because of these wars people are dying. Children cannot study. People cannot work. They have to leave their homes and come to other countries. Stop the fighting.’ Afghan Refugee survivor

‘When I speak to someone who listens to me, and who respects me, and when I can tell my story to such a person, then I feel good. I don't feel like a zero, and I have felt that way in the concentration camp and even in coming to this country. When I talk to such a person, and I tell my story, I no longer feel that way. You know all the time you feel as if you were nobody, nothing, because they can step on you, kill you, humiliate you at any moment of the day or night.’
Bosnian refugee survivor

‘If evil of this magnitude can be ignored, if our own children forget, then we deserve oblivion and earn the world’s scorn.’ Avedis Aharonian (1866-1948) – Armenian survivor


A Note to My Family from Charles Butera – a Rwandan survivor To My Dad, Those to whom you gave the keys of success as a teacher for 30 years are the ones who took your life away. I wanted you to teach me how to be a good father so I could give my son the wisdom you shared with me. We didn’t have a chance to say goodbye but you will always be my dad and my best friend. To My Beloved Mom, I have been looking all over but no one is like you. I miss your beautiful face, your caring love. I wanted to tell you, mom, that since you’ve gone things are never the same - the sun shines differently. My whole life is changed and I miss you. To My Beloved Wife, Chantal, You were my first love. We had many plans but no time to realize them. I will not forget you.

Lotte Braun ‘The camp commandant confronted us. We all had to line up for roll call.I remember to this day how he said: "You are all my prisoners. Those of you who attempt to escape will be shot like rabid dogs." I have never forgotten this. Each morning we stood for roll call. We had to lie on the ground with our noses and mouths in the dirt. The commandant's dog ran among us and when someone raised their head the dog bit him. It was terrible. I don’t wish to think about it again. We suffered terrible things. We were transported to Krychow and from there to Siedlce. We were transported as far as Czechoslovakia, via Warsaw. My mother and brother Rigo were shot before we reached Warsaw. I don’t exactly know how this happened; I was fetching water when this happened. They were standing beside the wagon when there was shooting. My mother was shot in the leg and my brother in the heart. A medical orderly bandaged them both but my brother died the following day. I had considered taking him with me to fetch water but thought I would be quicker alone. Had I taken him perhaps he would be alive today. When the train came to a halt somewhere we buried him. We wrapped him in a blanket and buried him beside the track. He was nine years old and I was seventeen.’
Lotte Braun was a Sinti (Romany) woman, who was deported to a forced labour camp in Belzec on 20 May 1940. Find out more about Lotte and other Sinti survivors on:


I Believe
Found on the walls of a cellar in Cologne where Jews were hidden

‘I believe in the sun Even when it is not shining I believe in love Even when I do not feel it I believe in God Even when he is silent’


Suggested Activities
 Find out about the children in the Kinder Transport. What would you have packed if you had been one of these children? They survived the war through the kindness of strangers, but few found their families again. In rebuilding their lives they had to live with their memories and their losses. Research the life of one such survivor.

Passport issued to Gertrud Gerda Levy, who left Germany in August 1939 on a Children's Transport (Kinder transport) to Great Britain. Berlin, Germany, August 23, 1939.  

     

Visit the exhibition of the Kinder transport children at Liverpool Street Station and then research the lives of some of the children. Design a flag, banner or logo celebrating the spirit of survival or with a message to warn against behaviours that could lead to dreadful outcomes. Make a Remembrance tree with each leaf describing someone who did or did not survive the Holocaust or other atrocity, each being contributed by a different member of the school community – afterwards make this into a memory book. Get the school council to organise an event to link with local survivor groups in the local community to let them know how the school feels about their situation in their new home. Make banners in several languages illustrating words such as: liberty, refuge, refugee, genocide and survivor. Spend a moment each day of the week in silence thinking about how members of the school can support peaceful conflict resolution. Make a classroom Pledge for celebrating difference and combating prejudice. For the week only use games on the playground that promote cooperating and working together as a team rather than competitively.


          

Examine current affairs to see where prejudice, discrimination and genocide exist today. Consider people in many countries who are affected by lack of peace and how members of all religions think about them and pray for them. Concentrate on how ordinary people inside or outside conflict areas all have similar feelings and fears. Explore the work of charity and aid agencies involved in trying to improve the situation of people in times of crisis, and support survivors e.g. the Red Cross, the Red Crescent. Reflect on the following from the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood" Consider what it might mean to 'love your neighbour' focusing on positive ways to contribute to support for people who are suffering from conflict. Research the life and death of Maximilian Kolbe Read and dramatise excerpts from ‘Zlata’s Diary’ to encourage pupils to relate the experiences of victim and survivor children to their own lives today. Individually or in a group, set pupils to make a list of the things they think are important for maintaining one's humanity in conditions of war and imprisonment. Could a Holocaust Happen Here? How can we prevent another holocaust from occurring? Find out about famous refugees and how they have managed to survive great difficulties and rebuild their lives. Use these links to find out more information

Alek Wek Alek was born into the Dinka tribe in southern Sudan. In 1991, at age fourteen, she and her younger sister fled their war-torn country. They were granted asylum in Great Britain.

Albert Einstein
Einstein was a German Jewish physicist who fled from Nazi Germany to the UK then USA.

The Dalai Lama When Tibet was invaded by China the famous Tibetan Buddhist Leader fled to India where he now lives as a refugee. Many Tibetan Buddhist monks and


nuns have been slaughtered for their beliefs and the traditional Tibetan way of life has been crushed.

Lomana Lua-Lua Lomana came from Zaire to England in 1989 where he established himself as a fast and skilful striker with Newcastle United FC.


Time for reflection
If you intend to follow up and use the outcomes of some of the above activities in collective worship based on this theme, you will need to provide appropriate focuses for pupils’ reflections and to encourage them to make a personal response. Pupils should be encouraged to consider the message – ‘never again’! They should be encouraged to reflect on how they can work together with others in their own part of the world to make sure this message is followed. The following are a collection of prayers and teachings from world faiths that focus on respect for God, human life and other people. These can aid reflection or be used to emphasise the common values owned by members of the world’s religions.

May the pain of every living being Be completely cleared away. May I be the doctor and the medicine And may I be the nurse For all sick beings in the world Until everyone is healed... May the frightened cease to be afraid And those bound be freed... from the Prayer for World Peace by Geshe Acharya Thubten Loden Treat not others in ways that yourself would find hurtful.
Udana-Varga 5.18

‘Lay not on any soul a load that you would not wish to be laid upon you, and desire not for anyone the things you would not desire for yourself.’ Baha'u'llah Gleanings Prayer for Peace Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be fair in judgement, and guarded in thy speech, Be a lamp unto those who walk in darkness, and a home to the stranger. Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring


Be a breath of life to the body of humankind, a dew to the soil of the human heart, and a fruit upon the tree of humility.

‘Lord; make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love, Where there is injury, pardon, Where there is doubt, faith, Where there is despair, hope, Where there is darkness, light, Where there is sadness, joy. ‘

(Attributed to St Francis of Assisi)

"So in everything, do to others, what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the law and the prophets" New Testament: MT 7:12 NIV

‘O Arjuna, how can a person who knows that the Atman (spirit) is indestructible, eternal, unborn, and imperishable, kill anyone or cause anyone to be killed? Just as a person puts on new garments after discarding the old ones, similarly Atman acquires new bodies after casting away the old bodies. Weapons do not cut this Atman, fire does not burn it, water does not make it wet, and the wind does not make it dry. If you think that this (body) takes birth and dies perpetually, even then, O Arjuna, you should not grieve like this. Because, death is certain for the one who is born, and birth is certain for the one who dies. Therefore, you should not lament over the inevitable. O Arjuna, the Atman that dwells in the body of all (beings) is eternally indestructible. Therefore, you should not mourn for any body. Bhagavad Gita ‘This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you. ‘Mahabharata 5:1517


‘Peace is to be sought by all. If there is war, the religious will seek to establish peace. Allah has ordained peace and no-one can engage in war without endangering the stability of the world.’

'O ye who believe! Stand out firmly For Allah, as witnesses To fair dealing, and let not The hatred of others To you make you swerve To wrong and depart from Justice. Be just: that is Next to piety: And fear Allah For Allah is well acquainted with all that you do'
Qur’an 5:8

‘Not one of you truly believes until you wish for others what you wish for yourself. ‘
The Prophet Mohammad, Hadith

‘One should treat all creatures in the world as one would like to be treated.’ Mahavira, Sutravitanga ‘Let the whole universe be blessed, let all beings be engaged in one another’s well-being. Let all weaknesses, sickness and faults be diminished and vanish. Let everyone, everywhere, be blissful and at peace.’

‘’We pray for all mankind. Though divided into nations and races, yet all people are your children, drawing from you their life and being, commanded to obey your laws. Cause hatred and strife to vanish, that abiding peace may fill the earth, and humanity everywhere be blessed with the fruits of peace’ What is hateful to you do not do to your neighbor. This is the whole torah; all the rest is commentary. Hillel, Talmad


‘In peace while up and standing. In peace even when seated. This realization makes me fearless. Our Master, the Lord, is our protector. He knows all that is in our hearts.’ ‘I am no stranger to no one; and no one is a stranger to me. Indeed, I am a friend to all.’
Guru Granth Sahib, pg.1299

‘Do not unto others what is injurious to yourself.’
Shayast-na-Shayast 13.29

A Prayer of Desmond Tutu Goodness is stronger than evil; Love is stronger than hate; Light is stronger than darkness; Life is stronger than death;


You who live safe In your warm houses, You who find, returning in the evening, Hot food and friendly faces: Consider if this is a man Who works in the mud Who does not know peace Who fights for a scrap of bread Who dies because of a yes or a no. Consider if this is a woman, Without hair and without name With no more strength to remember, Her eyes empty and her womb cold Like a frog in winter.

Meditate that this came about: I commend these words to you. Carve them in your hearts At home, in the street, Going to bed, rising; Repeat them to your children, Or may your house fall apart, May illness impede you, May your children turn their faces from you.

Primo Levi


Quotations on the theme of hope and reconciliation

To remember the past is to commit oneself to the future. To remember Hiroshima is to abhor nuclear war. To remember Hiroshima is to commit oneself to peace.
Pope John Paul II 1981

"There are only two powers in the world...the sword of the oppressor and the spirit of the oppressed. In the long run, the sword is always defeated by the spirit."
Napoleon Bonaparte

What oxygen is to the lungs, such is hope to the meaning of life.
Emil Brunner

The starting point for a better world is the belief that it is possible. Civilisation begins in the imagination. The wild dream is the first step to reality. It is the direction-finder by which people locate higher goals and discern their highest selves.
Norman Cousins

Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.
Thich Nhat Hanh

Someday after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love. Then for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
Leo Buscaglia

Who brings about peace is called the companion of God in the work of creation.
Jewish saying.

‘To save one life is as if you have saved the world’
the Talmud


" remain silent and indifferent is the greatest sin of all...“
Elie Wiesel

"These fruitless strifes, these ruinous wars shall pass away, and the Most Great Peace shall come"

"the Earth is but one country and mankind its citizens"

"The betterment of the world can be accomplished through pure and goodly deeds, through commendable and seemly conduct"


Who Is That Refugee? Words and Music Pat Drummond For Abdul Khaliq Samadi, Topside Camp, Nauru and Daniel Emmad, Villawood Detention Centre 2002
Matthew, 1 - 28 The angel came to Joseph late one night And said, "You must be gone Gather up your wife and infant son for you must leave this place Herod seeks you, death awaits Through Israel's dark and bloodstained gates to Egypt you must flee!" Jesus was a child when he became a refugee Chorus: At the mercy of the stranger Seeking shelter from 'The Fates' From certain death and danger To where uncertainty awaits Speak to me my country Tell me what you see Underneath the razor wire In those same dark frightened eyes Tell me if you recognize Who is that refugee? The Bible tells us Herod slew each child below the age of two years old to save his dynasty Political expediency really isn't something new Politicians always do what their ambitions tell them to and truth is sacrificed but shame is all a nation buys when children pay the price Chorus: They did not speak the language but they prayed God would provide


through the kindness of the stranger and there they stayed till the day that Herod died And if they'd sold all they that owned to pay for their escape... look at your children, and if you love them tell me then which of you would even hesitate? Hundreds of children, heaven sent have been living in imprisonment for years; for the crime of being poor fleeing famine, poverty and war I hear you say to me "They're not our responsibility They came unasked across the sea" Yes... and so did we. And if we lived back in Egypt when that family fled from Herod's men would we have imprisoned them among the refugees? Chorus "What you do to these, the least of them you surely do to me." Underneath the razor wire In those same dark frightened eyes Tell me if you recognize Who is that refugee?


Useful Websites for the theme
Please note: teachers need to pre-view these sites and select those to be researched or viewed by pupils with care as there are some powerful, graphic and horrific images on some of them.

The UK Holocaust Centre Holocaust Memorial Day website BBC Holocaust Pages Schindler’s List Holocaust Survivors Site East Renfrewshire Council's Holocaust Website,1&_dad=pestro&_schema=PORTAL_ TESTRO American Holocaust Survivors & Holocaust Sites Personal Survivor Sites Armenian Genocide Cambodian Genocide

24 Kurdish Genocide Roma Holocaust en/article/19060

Rwandan Holocaust Tibetan genocide Yugoslavia General Holocaust / Genocide / refugee resources Support for Survivors


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