A group of 46 year 9 pupils from Pocklington’s Woldgate College have been on a moving trip to Beth Shalom Holocaust Centre near Nottingham to support their learning in religious studies, as well as history and drama.
In the morning, pupils visited the Museum and Memorial Gardens. The group’s volunteer guide was a mine of information, and was happy to answer the many questions asked by the pupils as they made their way through the various zones in the Holocaust Exhibition. This permanent exhibition provides an insight through the historical events of the Holocaust. After such sombre sights and sounds, it was a welcome relief to get out into the centre’s beautifully landscaped Memorial Gardens, and savour the sweet scent of the rose gardens in the sunshine. Each rose had been planted in memory of a loved one who had died in the Holocaust. To remember the one-and-a-half million children who died during the Holocaust, pupils were invited to place a stone on a pile of stones placed centrally in the gardens, to reflect on an individual child who had died. Many pupils were deeply affected by this, commenting on how innocent these young victims were, and asking the question, why? After lunch, the group were privileged to hear Yvonne Franklin, a survivor of the Holocaust, speak about her experiences. She and her family had feared the worst, and had hoped for the best, and the group sat spellbound as she told her fascinating story of survival.