On 25th January we hosted our first Holocaust Memorial Event, ‘The Power of Words’, in commemoration of those who died during World War II and the subsequent genocides. The day began with an extended whole school assembly, which involved Dance, Poetry, Choir and spoken word presentations from students and staff. We also welcomed Kindertransport refugee, Sir Erich Reich, who gave an inspirational talk on his experiences and the way in which he has overcome adversity to lead a full and successful life. This included establishing a business which has raised tens of millions for charity, which lead to the erection of a monument in Liverpool Street Station in memory of the 10,000 children who fled Nazi rule in 1939.
We also invited artist Barbara Bell to deliver a workshop to Year 9 students, as a way to encourage them to explore the tragedies of the Holocaust, through a creative medium. The students used charcoal to produce an amazing array of unique work which will be displayed throughout the school. We also welcomed 80 primary school students who were also inspired by Sir Erich’s story of perseverance and resilience, alongside more Music and Dance presentations. In addition, Winston Pickett delivered a talk using a range of Jewish artefacts, such as Shabbat candles and the Shofar, to reinforce the Power of Words to do good. With support from Sasha Dugdale-Smith, the students then used what they had learnt to write their own poetry.
In the afternoon, the Mayor, Councillors and members of the Brighton and Hove Holocaust Memorial Committee were in attendance.
The day was an outstanding success, and everyone came away with an opportunity to reflect on Anne Frank’s poignant words; ‘I want to go on living, even after my death’.