08:27AM, Sunday 06 April 2014
A Holocaust survivor addressed 500 students at The Windsor Boys' School last week.
Mala Tribich MBE was born in 1930 in Poland. Her family fled the country in 1939 when the Nazis invaded, and when they returned they had to move into Poland's first ghetto, which was overcrowded and unhygenic.
She spoke to year nine and 10 pupils at the school in Maidenhead Road on Friday, March 28 as part of a visit organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET).
Her testimony told of her experiences growing up during the Nazi occupation of Poland and of losing family members during the genocide.
It was followed by a question and answer session led by sixth formers Nick Chevis and Harry Woolman, who are HET ambassadors, having taken part in the charity's Lessons from Auschwitz project.
Nick said: "It was a privilege to sit before Mala on Friday and listen to her incredible story. As a Holocaust ambassador, I could not have hoped for a more thoughtful reaction from those who were lucky enough to hear from Mala and I would like to thank everyone for receiving our guest so well.
"It was such an inspiration to see how this woman had overcome unimaginable setbacks in early life and flourished into an incredibly vibrant and engaging woman. She showed the strength of human nature and I think we can all learn from her story when we are faced with today's challenges.
"It also raises the question: how can we relate Mala's story to our own society? We were confronted with brutal recollections of discrimination and segregation which showed just how far prejudices can be stretched. Perhaps most striking was the realisation that these were living memories from a period less than 100 years ago.
"Unfortunately, we will soon reach the point where people like Mala will no longer be able to tell their stories and the responsibility passes on to our generation. Friday showed us the importance of the Holocaust, and the importance that the Holocaust is not forgotten."
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