Holocaust Rememberance Day 2023
Holocaust Rememberance Day – Live Webcast with Holocaust survivor Ruth Posner BME
On 26th January, KS4 and 5 Religious Studies and History students remembered the day Aushcwitz Birkenau concentration camp was liberated by joining a live webcast with Holocust survivor, Ruth Posner BME. This was part of Holocaust Rememberance Day. This is the response of year 12 Religious Studies student Maddie Pritchard discussing the experience and Ruth’s unbelievable story.
“It was a privilege to be part of an interview and Q&A session with Ruth Posner BEM, a Holocaust survivor, held by the Holocaust Educational Trust on Thursday 26th Janurary.
In 1942, when Ruth was 9 years old, she and her Jewish family were taken to the Radom Ghetto near Warsaw. Ruth and her aunt managed to escape from the ghetto and worked in a slave labour camp, pretending to be Catholics. Miraculously, they escaped from the factory. Ruth and her aunt completely changed their identities to stay hidden and safe. In 1945, they were taken as Catholic Polish prisoners of war to Germany. While being moved to another German prison, the allies began bombing the train. The Germans, feared their own safety so they let everyone on the train go. Ruth lay in the grass as the bombs dropped, surrounded by dead bodies. Yet somehow, Ruth and her aunt survived. Completely unaware of where they were, German farmers welcomed them into their home where they worked until the war ended. Apart from her aunt, all members of her family died, including her 6 and 8 year old cousins; they were shot by the Nazis after someone denounced them. Ruth said "I carry this burden in my heart all the time because I have no family." Ruth traveled to England on Kindertransport after the war where she learned English, then attended London Contemporary Dance School and eventually became an actress.
Ruth’s story was extremely poignant and powerful. The webinar reminded me of how blessed I am to be alive and we should all take more time to appreciate our loved ones and not take them for granted. Even though Ruth didn’t go to a concentration camp, what she experienced is uncomprehenable. It’s so important, especially for the younger generations to be educated about the Holocaust, so we can honour the millions of victims and never forget the injuctice they endured in this horrific, tragic, inhumane genocide. As Elie Wiesel said "to forget the Holocaust is to kill twice" which is why it is imperative that we show the victims the respect they deserve.”
Maddie Prictchard, year 12 Religious Studies student