This term, year six have had the opportunity to visit the National Holocaust Museum. The trip coincides with their work on world war two and, more specifically, the plight of the Jewish people at the hands of the Nazi party. This topic is excellent for studying the different aspects of world war two and looking at the Jewish religion and having empathy for people who have different beliefs to those of our own.
Year six are about to embark on a series of lessons about Anne Frank’s family, the kindertransport and how the Nazi party occupied parts of Europe. The visit will give the children vital information about the effect of the war on children and families in countries such as Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Poland.
The visit began with our very own tour guide greeting us at the car park and leading us into the building and one of their specially built classroom areas. We discussed how we should show respect for the memories and the lives that are memorialised within the exhibits and what to expect throughout the day. Our first session was to go around ‘the journey’. This is a multi-roomed exhibition that allows visitors to experience the life of a young, Jewish boy and his journey from a happy, family life to being transported to England and safety. The rooms were realistically decorated! There was his family living room, his father’s shop (complete with hiding spot) and a street that was showing the after-effects of ‘the night of broken glass’. There was a train carriage that explained Leo’s journey to safety but away from his family and a room dedicated to all the survivors of the Holocaust and any personal items they selflessly donated to the centre.
In the afternoon, the year group were treated to a talk from an actual, real-life survivor who was born a Hungarian and travelled around Europe with his family looking for safety but eventually managed to find a place on one of the kindertransports to the UK. Listening to him speak passionately and emotionally about his experiences was quite amazing when you consider as well that his story is told elsewhere in the centre.
Obviously, the children had a fantastic time and were primed and ready to use their experience to write about the lives of Jewish people during this horrific time. We all agreed that this kind of event should never be forgotten about in order that it should never be repeated.