The youngest survivors of the Holocaust, born in the last stages of the Second World War, are now in their seventies. For decades they have testified as to what happened to them and their families, but they will not live forever. Solihull School organised a European school’s premier screening of the film No Asylum: The Last Chapter of Anne Frank’s Story, and invited Smith’s Wood Academy to take part in this project, providing an opportunity for a selection of our brightest year 7s to meet the last survivors of the Holocaust.
The film followed Anne and her family’s desperate attempts to escape the tyranny of the Nazi party before and during World War 2, and, acting as a prequel to Anne’s iconic diary, called for personal responsibility and respect for others, empowering young people to challenge prejudice and discrimination of today. Following the premiere, our students were honoured to meet survivors Eva Schloss, Tomi Reichental and Mindu Hornick, all of whom were sent to concentration camps, and who offered some moving words about their experiences. Everyone present was left inspired by their faith in human decency, kindness and freedom. Our year 7 students were first to brave the crowds and ask questions, including ‘what did you do to take your mind of being in the camps?’ or ‘did you keep your tattoos?’
The survivors left us with their final moving pleas: to never forget or deny the holocaust, to remember each other as human beings no matter our colour or religion and to finally make the world a peaceful place.
And as they pass away, there is a risk that what they saw is forgotten. That would be a disaster for mankind.