Memorial Teaches Lessons from the Past
It has often been said of the study of history that we cannot know where we’re going if we don’t understand where we’ve been. In no case is that more true than in the study of the Holocaust. On 18th February, Grove Academy in Broughty Ferry, GB held their first Holocaust Memorial Event in conjunction with the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET).
The HET holds a yearly Lessons from Auschwitz (LFA) program where 16 to 18-year-old students from across Great Britain learn about victims’ lives before WWII, hear testimony from a Holocaust survivor, visit the former Nazi concentration and extermination camps of Auschwitz and Auschwitz-Birkenau and go on to spread “the messages they have taken from their experiences around their local communities.”
Grove’s event allowed the academy’s ambassadors from 2009 through 2012 to speak about their experiences working in the program. About 250 students, educators and community representatives gathered to hear their stories and the story of Holocaust survivor Zigi Shipper.
Shipper spoke of life before the war and what things were like during German occupation, including when he was taken, along with some of his aunts, uncles, cousins and his paternal grandmother, to Auschwitz-Birkenau at around 14-years-old.
The HET began in 1988 and seeks to “educate young people from every background about the Holocaust and the important lessons to be learned for today.” The trust has several school, university and community programmes to increase understanding and awareness of the Holocaust.
The organization trains and supports hundreds of teachers and educates thousands of students across the UK every year. They also work with Parliament and the media to spread understanding, and were able to ensure that Holocaust education became part of the National Curriculum for History.
Gerry Dillon, Principal Teacher of Religious Moral & and Philosophical Education at Grove Academy, says the event was organized with the help of the Dundee City Council and was publicised on the school Website and with local media outlets. Dillon believes that the nature of the event ensured that every moment was touching and memorable.
Dillon’s advice for other event planners focuses on timing and preparation. “Plan ahead, months ahead,” he relays. “Work backwards from the deadline, keeping everything tidy, organized and in one place. On the night of the event you are there to take part, and if needed do a little last minute fire-fighting. But, everything is planned, organised and doubled-checked well in advance. Back thinking up digitally if you can, and use reliable companies like Eventgroove.”
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