Last week 80 students gathered in Main Hall to attend a talk given by Holocaust survivor, John Hajdu MBE. A further 30 students attended the talk online. The size of the audience demonstrates the continued relevance and importance of Holocaust education. The talk consisted of a fascinating presentation followed by many insightful questions.
History pupil, Lucy Picken, reflects on the evening:
“John spoke about his experiences growing up in Hungary whilst the country was occupied by Nazi Germany. John comes from a Jewish family, and this led to him being persecuted, with his parents being taken to concentration camps. Against all odds, John’s life was saved when his aunt hid him in a cupboard, but this did not save them from being forced to live in the Budapest Ghetto. Once the ghetto was liberated in 1945, John was fortunate to be reunited with his mother, although he still to this day does not know how she survived. Hungary was then under Soviet control and John witnessed the Hungarian Revolution in 1956, before leaving to begin a new life in England in 1957. Since then, John has had a successful career in the hotel business and lives with his wife near his children and grandchildren.
“John’s presentation provoked several questions. I think the most poignant was when John was asked how he would want the Holocaust to be remembered. He replied that Holocaust education, such as this talk, makes future generations aware of what took place. His response shows just how important the work of the Holocaust Educational Trust is in helping to ensure that the atrocities and suffering are never forgotten, so that nothing like it ever happens again.”