Date: 1/23/2006


Introduction//// What is the Holocaust?///// When Adolf Hitler rose to power in Germany in 1933, no one could have known the death and destruction that would follow. In just twelve years, he had contributed to the deaths of over 50 million people and caused untold carnage and suffering to millions more. Hitler targeted many sectors of the community for persecution, including Jews, gipsies, homosexuals, Poles and those with physical and mental disabilities. Thousands of people such as those from African descent –were sterilised, many were the victims of the Nazi ‘euthanasia’ programme and millions more were sent to camps where they were immediately exterminated or worked to death. ‘The Holocaust’, is the term normally used for the death of 6,000,000 Jews. It also embraces and commemorates the suffering in genocides that have occurred in other parts of the world since that time until the present. ///// Barnet’s Statement of Commitment- Holocaust Memorial Day <!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->We recognise that the Holocaust shook the foundations of modern civilisation and its unprecedented character and horror continue to hold universal meaning///// <!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->We believe that the Holocaust must have a permanent place in our nation’s collective memory and we honour the Survivors still with us. <!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->We reaffirm our shared goals of mutual understanding and value the sacrifices of those who have risked their lives to protect or rescue victims as a permanent reminder of the human capacity for good in the face of evil. <!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->We will strive to ensure that future generations are aware of the Holocaust and other acts of genocide, and reflect upon their consequences. We vow to remember the victims of Nazi persecution and all genocide. <!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->We recognise that humanity is still scarred by the misconception that some people’s lives are worth less than others because of their disability, ethnicity, gender, religion or sexuality. Racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and discrimination still persist, and we have a shared responsibility to fight these evils. <!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]--> We in Barnet are proud of our multicultural, multi-faith community. We pledge to strengthen our efforts to promote education and research about the Holocaust and other acts of genocide. We will do our utmost to make sure that the lessons learnt from these events are fully understood. <!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->We in Barnet condemn the evils of prejudice, discrimination and racism and value the right for all to live in a free, tolerant and democratic society. ///// This was developed from the national Statement of Commitment. ///// Ways that schools can mark the day ///// Speakers Barnet is fortunate to have a number of excellent speakers who are willing to come into schools to give talks. If you want to arrange for a visitor to come into your school please contact Bernd Koschland on telephone/fax 020 8203 5527 or on email ///// Resources//// Web pages: //// ///// The Jewish Museum in Finchley. ///// Barnet has a nationally recognised resource in this museum and schools from all over the country travel to visit. We are fortunate that it is on our doorstep. It offers: <!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->sensitive and thought provoking programmes in the field of Holocaust Education at primary and secondary levels <!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]--> highlights the study of the Holocaust through sessions with Holocaust survivors in combination with the resources at the Museum. These include an exhibition on the life of Leon Greenman, a British citizen and Holocaust survivor, born in London’s East End. <!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->The programmes can be adapted for use in a range of curriculum areas including History, RE, Citizenship and PSHE. To find out more and to arrange visits please contact Gill Fisher at The Jewish Museum, The Sternberg Centre, 80 East End Road, Finchley, London N3 2SY. Tel 020 8439 1143. It’s a 10 minutes walk from Finchley Central underground station. Open Monday -Thursday 10.30am –5pm. Sundays 10am –5pm. Closed Jewish festivals and Public holidays. ////// Children of the Holocaust Memorial Project ///// In 2003 Barnet Council established the Children of the Holocaust Memorial Project. The aim of this project is to plant, over time, enough snowdrops to represent the 1.5 million lives that were lost during the holocaust. The project also acknowledges those children who suffered under the Nazi regime.///// The Snowdrop, the official plant of the project is a small bulb with a delicate white flower, known for sprouting in winter and early spring. As a bulb that is small, loved and cherished it has become a symbol within Barnet to act as a mirror to the memory of the children that perished during the Holocaust. Certificates will be issued to all who contribute to the project and an update of the number of snowdrops planted to date can be seen on the Barnet Council website ///// Holocaust Memorial Service.///// There will be a service to mark the Holocaust Memorial Day on Sunday 22nd January 2006 at 1pm at Hendon Park Queens Road NW4. All are welcome.///// Material for use in assemblies:///// The national theme this year is One person can make a difference. ///// One person who did make a difference in his life was Rabbi Hugo Gryn (25 June 1930-18 August 1996), rabbi, community leader, educator and broadcaster. He was born in Carpathia and was among the 10,000 Jews confined to the Berehovo ghetto in April 1944. All were sent to Auschwitz on May 28, 1944 and arrived there on May 31. Hugo went with his mother, father, grandparents, and his brother Gaby aged ten. Hugo, aged thirteen, was advised to say that he was nineteen, a carpenter and joiner. He and his father were sent to work, his brother and grandparents were sent to the gas chambers. Hugo and his father were sent to Lieberose, a slave labour camp in Upper Silesia where they spent the next seven months. From the camp, together with 2,600 Jews they were sent on a death march from Lieberose to Sachsenhausen and then to Mauthausen. Less than a thousand survived that march. Hugo was freed in Gunskirchen on May 4, 1945, but his father died a few days later from typhus and exhaustion; his mother, Bella, survived.///// In February 1946, Hugo Gryn joined the last group of boys to leave from Prague to Great Britain, in a Lancaster bomber arranged through the Central British Fund, and came to Prestwick, near Manchester. He was then sent to Lasswade, Scotland, to the Polton House Farm School. Later that year, he moved to London and began studying mathematics and biochemistry. He then went to America to train as a rabbi. His first pulpit was in Bombay and later he became Rabbi at the West London Synagogue, a post he held for thirty-two years until his death in 1996. He is buried in the Jewish cemetery in Hoop Lane in Barnet. The closing words of his (posthumously published) book ‘Chasing Shadows’ are "Time is short and the task is urgent. Evil is real. So is good. There is a choice. And we are not so much chosen as choosers. Life is holy. All life. Mine and yours. And that of those came before us and the life of those after us." ///// An extract from Hugo Gryn’s experiences while at Lieberose : ///// ‘That year the festival of Chanukah was early- the first week of December. The Jewish prisoners in our barracks- Block 4 - decided that we would celebrate it by lighting a menorah every night. Bits of wood and metal were collected and shaped into light-holders and everyone agreed to save the week’s meagre ration of margarine that would be used for fuel. It was my job to take apart an abandoned prison cap and fashion wicks from its threads. Finally, the first night of Chanukah arrived. Most of Block 4 gathered around the menorah- including some Roman Catholic Poles, several Protestant Norwegians and the Blockälteste himself- a German count who was implicated in the attempt on Hitler’s life but had somehow had his life spared. Two portions of margarine were melted down – my wicks in place but as we chanted the blessing, praising God who ‘performed miracles for our ancestors in those days at this time’, and as the youngest person there, I tried to light the wick, there was only a bit of spluttering and no flame whatsoever. What the ‘scientists’ in our midst failed to point out was that margarine does not burn! As we dispersed and made our way back to the bunk beds I turned not so much to my father, but on him, upset at the fiasco and bemoaning this waste of precious calories. Patiently, he taught me one of the most lasting lessons of my life and I believe that he made my survival possible. ‘Don’t be so angry ‘, he said to me, ‘you know that this festival celebrates the victory of the spirit over tyranny and might. You and I have had to go once for over a week without proper food and another time almost three days without water, but you cannot live for three minutes without hope!’ ///// Many thanks to Naomi Gryn for allowing us to include this extract from ‘Chasing Shadows’ Hugo Gryn with Naomi Gryn ISBN 0-670-88793-5. It is currently out of print but it is possible to obtain second-hand copies on Amazon or on eBay. There is also a video of a documentary, also called ‘Chasing Shadows’, made by Naomi Gryn and shown on Channel 4 and this can be bought at Joseph’s Bookstore in Temple Fortune telephone number 0208 731 7575 at £15.95. It runs for 52 minutes. ///// Other individuals whose lives made a difference and could be studied are: Sir Nicholas Winton, whilst on holiday in Czechoslovakia , was shocked by the plight of children; he arranged for more than 600 children to come to the United Kingdom from there Janusz Korczak was a renowned Polish paediatrician and educator, who, as head of the Jewish orphanage in Warsaw, refused to leave his children and went with them to their deaths Raoul Wallenberg was a diplomat in Hungary who issued visas for Jews to escape thus saving many lives Oscar Schindler saved Jewish lives from the neighbourhood concentration camp by employing them in his nearby factory. A film has been made of his life. Leo Baeck was a German rabbi and scholar who insisted on staying with his congregation in Berlin during the war and was deported to Thersienstadt concentration camp from which he survived. ///// Everyone of us can make a difference: <!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->think of the people who you believe have made a difference for the good or have used their lives to do harm <!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Reflect on how we may have helped someone out of trouble or been helped ourselves. ///// The following poem was written by a year 6 Brunswick Primary School pupil called Isil . Thanks to the school for allowing us to include it. ///// Everything ///// I wish that I don’t have to die I want to live for ever I want to know all that there is to know And be filled with all the answers I want to see everything that happens And experience everything there is I want to know what the future holds Not just for me, but for the whole human race I want to read about the twentieth century When it’s nothing but the ancient past. ///// I want to meet life from other planets And see things never seen before I want to know how the world began And how it will end. ///// I want to read every book ever written And see every inch of space. I want so much And I know I’ll never get it all But until the day I die I’ll always want to try.///// A moral dilemma perhaps to discuss? A Nazi helps someone called Peter to survive the war. Many years later the Nazi, after the war is over he is in need of help from Peter. Does Peter help his former enemy?//// Lessons Learnt///// More than fifty years on, the Holocaust is a subject that is still relevant to us all regardless of our race, culture, religion or nationality. Our remembrance of the Holocaust should be a reminder to governments of the importance of standing internationally to support the rights of minority groups around the world.///// The political situation several parts of the world in the late 20th and first part of the 21st century reminds us that we must never assume the events of the Holocaust were an aberration that could never happen again.///// It reminds us that we all have an individual responsibility towards our fellow citizens regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion and sexuality. We should all celebrate the richness of living in a culturally diverse place.///// Compiled and written by Bernd Koschland and Anna Sallnow. Bernd can be contacted on telephone or fax 020 8203 5527 or email Anna on 020 83596335 or by email We would welcome any suggestions or useful resources to include in next years pack. ///// 000000000