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New project tells story of village's holocaust survivors

A Holocaust education project, based on the lives of young survivors who recuperated in Ascot, is raising money for lessons for children.

The Ascot Holocaust Education Project uses the stories of 34 boys who came to Ascot after the Second World War to give relatable and engaging lessons on the impact of the genocide on European Jews.

The group is seeking to raise £5,000 so that more projects and lessons can be launched on Holocaust Memorial Day, which this year falls on Sunday, January 27.

Rosie Whitehouse, of the project, said: “The project is unusual, it’s verging on unique. It’s about children that went to Ascot and rode their bikes and played football on the racecourse.

“It’s really magical to the people of Ascot, they became really important, some have become significant Holocaust educators themselves. When you teach the Holocaust in the classroom, it’s hard for children because it was so long ago and nothing to do with them.

“But when you see there are people that it happened to here in Ascot, people start to think that’s interesting.”

The 34 boys who arrived in Ascot after the war were part of a group of about 700 children flown to the UK to recuperate.

This figure was on top of the nearly 10,000 evacuated in the Kindertransport scheme in 1938 and 1939.

The boys, two from Hungary and 32 from Poland, lived in Woodcote House, a mansion in Windsor Road, where they were taught English, maths, geography and Hebrew.

As part of their rehabilitation, many also had to be taught table manners and persuaded not to stockpile food.

The project hopes to deliver more lessons and exhibits at schools in the Ascot area, focusing onspecific aspects of the Holocaust, like the experience of Hungarian Jews.

To donate to the project or to find out more, visit: bit.ly/2FC1GMD

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