Pupils hear testimony of Holocaust survivor

Hannah Lewis (centre) talks to Collyer's students. Photo by Lilly Franklin, A-level History student SUS-151202-101521001
Hannah Lewis (centre) talks to Collyer's students. Photo by Lilly Franklin, A-level History student SUS-151202-101521001

Last week students and staff from Collyer’s heard a personal testimony from Holocaust survivor Hannah Lewis, as part of a visit organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust’s all year round Outreach Programme, which is available to schools and colleges across the UK.

Hannah moved to Britain at the end of the Second World War and now shares her harrowing testimony to educate today’s generation and help them understand the impact the Holocaust had on the world.

Ann Mutluer, a Faculty Head and Subject Leader for History at Collyer’s said: “The college has had long-standing links to the Holocaust Educational Trust, and this year we welcomed back Hannah Lewis, who gave a talk about her experiences. Hannah’s testimony stunned her packed audience of historians, whose studies include persecution and genocide as well as the Holocaust.”

At the end of the talk, Hannah was presented with a bouquet by Jacob Iles-Chew, one of two Collyer’s Ambassadors for the Lessons from Auschwitz Project. Last summer, Jacob and Saoirse Freeman were selected from a number of applicants to represent the college, and have since visited Auschwitz and attended meetings with the Holocaust Trust in London. They have also taken part in research with the Institute of Education on Holocaust education. To coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day, Saoirse and Jacob created a vivid display of photographs and text about the victims and perpetrators of the Holocaust in the LRC.

Student College Council’s Hannah Cruz said: “The students were heartbroken by the experiences Hannah had shared, but were truly thankful for her presence.”

Fellow Student College Council representative, Selina Polat added: “Hannah’s testimony was extremely moving and will enable younger generations to be able to develop a better understanding of the impact of the holocaust.”

Sally Bromley, Collyer’s Principal said: “We are grateful to the Holocaust Educational Trust and Ann Mutluer for co-ordinating the visit and it was an honour for us to welcome Hannah Lewis to our college.”

For more information about the Holocaust Educational Trust please visit www.het.org.uk

Report contributed by Collyer’s. Picture by Lilly Franklin, A-level History student.