On Thursday 11th November Year 6 visited Beth Shalom, Holocaust Centre in Newark. The trip was part of their World War 2 history topic: ‘We’ll Meet Again’.
After arriving at the centre, the children were very lucky to listen to Eve Kulger, a survivor from World War 2. She explained how she was Jewish and was born in Germany in 1931. Eve shared her experiences of growing up in Nazi Germany including how her family was torn apart by the Nazis during Kristallnacht – the night of broken glass. Eve then told the children what happened to her and her family following that night including how she and her older sister were sent to America and into foster homes. Luckily, her family were reunited in in 1946 which Eve explained did not happen to all families during the war. The children had the opportunity to ask Eve questions, which they did in a mature and respectful manner.
Visiting the centre on the 11th November was very poignant and observing the 2 minutes silence at 11 o’clock was an important time for the children to reflect on Eve’s story.
During the afternoon, the children had the opportunity to visit The Journey exhibition led by an educator. The educators led the children through a series of rooms, each designed to authentically represent a time period in Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1938. They followed the journey of Leo, a fictional character in his living room, school classroom, the street he grew up on, his family business and finally on the Kindertransport. This exhibit provided the children with a hands-on experience and opportunity to gain an understanding and ask questions about the experiences of Jewish children in Nazi Germany.
The day ended with the children adding a pebble to the living sculpture in the memorial garden. This enabled the children to reflect upon everything they had seen, heard and experiencedduring their trip. This living sculpture is currently made up of 300,000 pebbles, which the centre hopes to continue to add to until they reach 1.5 million to represent all the children who were murdered in the Holocaust.
The trip to the Holocaust Centre enabled the children to gain a deeper understanding of how conflict affected the lives of people during World War 2 and how individual actions can influence the lives of others. Visiting Beth Shalom, learning about the experience of Jewish children and listening to Eve Kulger helped the children to further develop their understanding of British Values including Tolerance of different faiths and Individual Liberty. This was reflected upon back at school, where the children learnt about Kristallnacht and had the chance to discuss their thoughts and feelings of everything they had learnt on the trip.