Moving visit from a Holocaust survivor
The Harefield Academy students and staff were lucky enough to be visited by a holocaust survivor and to listen to his account of the dark days surrounding World War 2.
Roman Beacher came in to speak to GCSE Lifeskills, History and Ethics students in Year 9 and 10. Roman himself was a young boy when the Nazis came to Poland. His mother worked hard to get him false papers and, as he freely admitted, he would not be alive today had this not been the case.
He was looked after and hidden during the time of the final solution and he witnessed a number of awful events that he said have influenced the way he has lived his life ever since. Roman escaped where millions of Jews did not and he believes the only reason he was able to survive, despite the horrific scenes he witnessed from a very young age, was because of his courage and because he was incredibly lucky.
This was just one highly personal account of the millions that occurred between 1941 and 1945 and really brought home to the students how fortunate they are to live in a society where this type of persecution (genocide), just due to faith, does not exist.
The students were given the opportunity to ask Roman questions about forgiveness, the effect on his faith, and how he approaches life which he answered thoughtfully and honestly. This experience certainly made me think deeply about what is important in life and the dangers of stereotyping and racist attitudes.
Only one in three European Jews survived the holocaust. Roman was certainly one of the lucky ones and, hopefully through the passing on of his story, our students can learn these all important lessons from the past so that it never happens again.
Thanks to Miss Oddy for organising this event and Mr Beacher for the thought provoking account.
By Mrs Walls