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Selby High School

Selby High School

Torn from Home

As we approach Holocaust Memorial Day on 27th January, Selby High School students have spent the week remembering the Holocaust through daily assemblies led by the History Department.  The theme for remembrance this year has been Torn from home, encouraging students to reflect on how the enforced loss of a safe place to call ‘home’ is part of the trauma faced by anyone experiencing persecution and genocide. ‘Home’ usually means a place of safety, comfort and security. Students have reflected on what happens when individuals, families and communities are driven out of, or wrenched from their homes, because of persecution or the threat of genocide, alongside the continuing difficulties survivors face as they try to find and build new homes when the genocide is over.

Today was particularly special as the whole of year 9 watched a live webcast from Harry Spiro, a Holocaust survivor. Harry gave live testimony of his experiences of a Nazi concentration camp and death march, to thousands of students across the country.  Harry Spiro, 89, was interviewed by Robert Rinder, a barrister and star of the television reality courtroom series Judge Rinder. The hour-long webcast, to more than 550 schools and more than 100 other organisations, including government departments, universities and workplaces, was organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET).  Selby High is proud to have been part of this once in a lifetime opportunity.  Year 9 students learnt first-hand how small acts of prejudice can lead to horrific consequences.  It was a very moving and poignant event for staff and students.