Holocaust victims remembered
The Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Revd Dr Michael led a team of people, including school pupils, on an emotional visit to the National Holocaust Centre.
The centre, near Nottingham, is the UK’s only dedicated Holocaust museum. It opened in 1995 to remember the six million Jews and millions of other victims of the Nazi regime.
The visit came ahead of national Holocaust Memorial Day this Sunday, 27 January. Bishop Michael joined the Diocesan book club at the centre whose members were discussing their latest read, Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s ‘Letters And Papers From Prison’, while there.
Three students from Lichfield Cathedral School - Tom Dickinson, Mali Lewelyn-Cook and Josh Rooke - also took part in the trip where they listened to and met Holocaust survivor Edith Kurcz Jayne (pictured above), whose family fled for their lives from Vienna in 1938, relocating to Lisbon and later the US.
Josh said: "The Museum gave us a real insight into the atrocities which befell the Jewish people in the Second World War. I was overwhelmed at the horrific events and suffering, which will resonate with me emotionally for a long time."
Bishop Michael, who is the Chairman of the national Council of Christians and Jews, added: “It was sobering to go with a group from the Diocese to learn more about how such a horrendous and calculated series of events destroyed the lives of so many ordinary, innocent people. But it was also wonderful to hear stories of hope and life, like Edith’s, and to witness dozens of primary school children, who were also visiting, show such an interest through their honest questions to her.”
Displays also highlighted the 10,000 refugee children who were sent to Britain to escape the Holocaust using ‘Kindertransport’ from 1938.
The centre was the brainchild of brothers James and Stephen Smith following a visit with their mother Marina to Israel’s national Holocaust museum Yad Vashem in 1991. It has a memorial garden and two permanent exhibitions, one on the history of the Holocaust and another tactile journey – aimed at younger children – which travels through a boy’s personal experience of the atrocities in World War Two.
Find out more about the museum here.
For information on the Diocesan Book Club email firstname.lastname@example.org