Holocaust survivor's visit gives school's sixth formers bleak warning from history

A CHARITY set up to educate young people about the Holocaust has arranged for a survivor to visit a school in the region as part of an annual event remembering those who were killed.

Holocaust Memorial Day takes place on January 27 to commemorate the liberation of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.

To raise awareness of the event, Rudi Oppenheimer, who was sent to a camp while he was still a child, has visited Hymers College, in Hull, to give a lecture to its sixth formers organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust.

His parents both died from ill health after his family had been sent to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp but he was on the last train ever to leave the site.

The charity's chief executive, Karen Pollock, said: "This year's theme for Holocaust Memorial Day, 'Untold Stories', illustrates how important it is for students to hear first hand testimony from a Holocaust survivor.

"By hearing Rudi's story, Hymers College students have the opportunity to learn where hatred and racism can ultimately lead.

"At the Holocaust Educational Trust, we endeavour to teach the history of the Holocaust to young people, across all communities, to ensure that they take forward the lessons taught by those who survived."

The Holocaust Educational Trust, which was set up in 1998, works in schools, universities and in the community to raise awareness and understanding of the Holocaust.

It also provides teacher training, and an outreach programme for schools.

This year the trust has created a study visit programme which will take 25 school teachers from the UK to lesser known Holocaust sites and give them the chance to meet international experts on the subject. The first trip takes place next month.

Mr Oppenheimer's visit to Hymers was also part of the independent school's lecture programme for students in their first year of sixth form.

Previous guests have included former Hymers pupil and BBC sports journalist Damian Johnson, Sandra Gregory, who was jailed for drug smuggling and Roland Gift, the lead singer of the Fine Young Cannibals.