To commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day, the KES community had the honour of welcoming Holocaust survivor, Joanna Millan BEM, who was speaking on behalf of the Holocaust Education Trust. During the course of an hour and a half she told her extraordinary story of survival; being orphaned in Theresienstadt, growing up in England with a new identity given to her by her adoptive parents and her subsequent journey to piece together her own identity and her family’s history.
Over 250 pupils and staff from KES and KEHS gathered to hear her speak and ask her questions. Listening to her testimony served as a reminder that the horrors of the Holocaust did not end with the liberation of the death camps; yet it also told of the incredible resilience of her spirit.
Joanna finished her testimony by urging us all to do what we can to combat racism and violence towards ‘the other’. Sadly the urgency of this call is obvious, but through collective experiences such as these we can begin to find the courage, in pale reflection of Joanna’s shining example and in sympathy with the theme of this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day, to be a light in the darkness.