We were pleased to welcome Year 9 students from the Avanti School to our Holocaust Memorial Day event this week. After watching a very moving film on the Holocaust, they attended a workshop where our facilitators had the opportunity to explain in more detail events leading up to the Holocaust and the impact they had on the Jewish population. They then were privileged to listen to Manfred Goldberg.
The 93 year old Holocaust survivor told the students of his harrowing experiences during the War. He explained his journeys from camp to camp including his final trip on a barge in the Baltic Sea after which he and his Mother were liberated by the British. Following his talk, students wrote postcards to Manfred expressing the impact of his words on them:
“What you said this morning was far beyond what has been taught in our textbooks. The harsh reality is really disturbing and upsetting – I can’t imagine the conditions you have described. I really agree with your message of speaking up – if 1000 people speak up the voices simply can’t be ignored. What you had to face would be a breaking point for many – and all of you Jews dealt with it very positively. The fact that someone is judged by their religious beliefs firstly is terrible, and this treatment additionally.”
“You are one of the most courageous people I’ve ever met. Your amazing words have inspired and had a substantial impact on me.”
“Your message and story inspired me about the impact of words that you have said. Your message of ‘if good people stay quiet, bad will triumph’, this message will be forever engraved on my heart”
It was a truly remarkable experience for everyone there and an honour to have Manfred at Belmont.
By Sharon Laifer