On Monday 21st January , students from the Ellesmere Port C of E College visited Chester Cathedral  for a Holocaust Memorial Workshop as part of their Religious Studies work.  During the day they worked with students from other local secondary schools.  A highlight was meeting Joanna Millan, a Holocaust survivor.

Joanna was born Bela Rosenthal in August 1942 in Berlin. At the end of February 1943, Bela’s father was taken from the streets of Berlin and sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau where he was murdered on arrival. Later that year, in June, Bela and her mother were taken from their home and sent to the Terezín (Theresienstadt) Ghetto north of Prague. In 1944, when Bela was 18 months old, her mother contracted tuberculosis due to the conditions in the camp, leaving Bela orphaned and alone in the camp.

Our students listened to story and engaged with questions after the talk. 

Miss Taylor said, ‘This was a fantastic experience to learn about the importance of learning from the mistakes of the past so that they are not repeated’.  

Later in the day students took part in some workshops creating poetry about Anne Frank, learning about forgiveness and creating art work inspired by Holocaust stories.  Eda, a Year 8 student, said of the experience, ‘I’ve really enjoyed this, I want to stay and do more’.

Below is a poem one of our pupils wrote on the day :

Anne Frank Poem

An annexe was their hiding place

Never to be seen by the evil people

Never did the evil suspect anything but

Eventually they were unfortunately

Found and held hostage in a camp

Reminding them of how life is fragile

A diary shows us human hopes and dreams

Now remembered by the

Kindness of Mr Frank