For the last three years the second year KS 2-3 RE Trainees have attended the Autumn Holocaust Conference at the Imperial War Museum of the North. The Conference is organised jointly between the Museum and the Centre for Jewish Studies at Manchester University. As part of their Judaism studies the conference give a unique and valuable opportunity for our trainees to explore different aspects of the Holocaust.
This year the theme was Hiding, Flight and Rescue under Nazi occupation.
Scholars from Britain, Europe and the USA presented their research on how despite the odds some European Jews managed to survive the relentless onslaught of the Nazis.
Perhaps the highlight of the day was hearing the personal witness of Lady Milena Grenfell-Baines who shared her memories of the Kindertransport and her escape from Czechoslovakia as a nine year old with her younger sister. Despite the great odds stacked against her family, once she and her sister were settled in Britain, she was reunited with her Father and then later her Mother who had managed to escape through Sweden.
An inspirational day that brought home the complexity of the human responses to the Holocaust and of the power of the human spirit to endure the most dreadful persecutions and yet not be crushed. As always following days like this I was left pondering what I would have done if faced with such persecution and hatred?