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Holocaust survivor gives moving testimony to History and German students

Holocaust survivor Steven Frank gave a very moving but inspiring talk to students about his life as a child under the rule of the Nazis.

Born in Amsterdam in 1935, Steven was five when the Nazis invaded and occupied Holland.

A Level History and German students heard how his family were torn apart in 1943 when his father, who worked for the Dutch Resistance helping Jews escape to a safer life, was captured and sent to Auschwitz, where he was killed.

Steven, his two brothers, and his mother, who was English, briefly went into hiding but were then sent to a camp in Barnevald, then on to Westerbork camp in the Netherlands and in 1944 they were transported to Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia.

He told how the children were sent to a children’s home and were forced to live apart from their mother, but were reunited as a family on May 9th when they were set free and then moved to England to start a new life.

His testimony was followed by a question and answer session which enabled the students to explore the lessons of the Holocaust in more depth.

Holocaust survivor gives moving testimony to History and German students | April 2015

For the last 15 years Steven has told his story to groups all over the UK. He dedicates his talks, organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust as part of its Outreach Programme, to the children that didn’t survive so that they will be remembered and also so that the actions of those who tried to make a difference, like his father, will never be forgotten.

Penny Jackson, History Course Leader at Havering Sixth Form College said: “It was a privilege for us to welcome Steven Frank to our school and his testimony will remain a powerful reminder of the horrors so many experienced. We are grateful to the Holocaust Educational Trust for co-ordinating the visit and we hope that by hearing Steven’s testimony, it will encourage our students to learn from the lessons of the Holocaust and make a positive difference in their own lives.”

Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust added: “Steven’s story is one of tremendous courage during horrific circumstances and by hearing his testimony, students will have the opportunity to learn where prejudice and racism can ultimately lead.

“At the Trust, we impart the history of the Holocaust to young people, to ensure that we honour the memory of those whose lives were lost and take forward the lessons taught by those who survived.”