North Shields students honour Holocaust victims

Eva Clarke pictured with (left to right) Emily-Louise Cain, Mairona McGarvie, Fay Staker and Wiktoria Barecka.
Eva Clarke pictured with (left to right) Emily-Louise Cain, Mairona McGarvie, Fay Staker and Wiktoria Barecka.

Students have been paying their own tributes to the victims of the Holocaust.

Pupils at St Thomas More RC Academy, in North Shields, took part in a number of events honouring the war victims.

There was a talk from Eva Clarke about her experiences of the atrocities after being born in Mauthausen Concentration Camp near Vienna.

Year 9 student Aleksandra Szymczak said: “The Holocaust Memorial Day further expanded our knowledge of the cruelty and horrors encountered during the Holocaust.

“Throughout the day, we had chances to display and pay our respects through different activities, such as creating posters and hand-crafting felt butterflies.”

Year 13 students Emily-Louise Cain, Mairona McGarvie and Fay Staker shared their experiences of their visit to Auschwitz.

They said: “This was a thoroughly moving event, especially when Arek Hersch gave his account of how he was sent to a concentration camp at the age of 11.

“When we hear survivors’ stories we are amazed at how remarkable and resilient these people are and it makes us all the more grateful for the life we have today.”

And the high standards of students’ work was praised by Rob Smith, school improvement advisor for North Tyneside Council who said: “It is clear the young people are becoming such positive ambassadors in trying to reduce intolerance and hatred, while increasing mutual respect and acceptance.”

Hannah Baldwin, Year 12, added: “We were honoured to hear the touching story of Eva Clarke, who was born in Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria.

“Eva captivated the attention and the hearts of every person in the audience as a reminder of the heart-breaking hardships that so many were forced to endure during the Second World War.

“She brought humanity to the facts that many students learn and added another dimension to the stories of Jewish people, giving both students and adults an unimaginable insight into life at the time.

“The evening served as an intimate way to both learn and remember.”