Holocaust Memorial Day: ‘Journeys’

Holocaust Memorial Day assembly in the school hall

Holocaust Memorial Day assembly in the school hall

“… on the following day the Jews would be leaving.  All the Jews, without exception.  Even the children, even the old, even the ill.  Our destination?  Nobody knew”

Primo Levi, Holocaust survivor and author 

On 27th January, Barry Comprehensive School commemorated Holocaust Memorial Day 2014.  Assemblies were held for Years 7 to 10, and were followed by lessons which put the Holocaust into context and provided students with a sense of why marking this day is so important.

The specific focus of HMD 2014 was ‘Journeys’.  The assemblies encouraged pupils to think about how journeys themselves became part of genocide, and how the journeys undertaken were often experiences of persecution and terror for so many people.  The boys were also given the opportunity to reflect on their own journeys, the fact that all journeys begin with just one step, and the importance of  making those steps positive ones, and so making a positive difference.

Also, three Year 11 students, Josh Barnett, Jay Jackson and Josh Woodfin, visited Barry Library with Mrs Zyjewski and Mr Spencer.  The purpose of the visit was to view the ‘Hineni Project’.  This is a collection of individual journeys and photographic portraits of people living in Britain.  From refugees and Holocaust survivors to those who grew up here in Wales and the UK, ‘Hineni’ offers an extraordinary insight into individuals’ lives.

Days like Holocaust Memorial Day are significant because they ensure that we learn from the past; as George Santayana said:  “The one who does not remember History is bound to live through it again”.

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