Marine Academy Primary pupils watch webcast with Holocaust survivor Hedi Argent MBE

News Desk
Authored by News Desk
Posted: Thursday, February 1, 2024 - 22:49

Year 6 pupils at Marine Academy Primary in Plymouth, part of the Ted Wragg Trust, have watched an inspiring webcast with Hedi Argent MBE,  organised by the Holocaust Education Trust and hosted by Natasha Kaplinsky OBE, where Hedi provided a testimony of her survival during the Holocaust.  The children found the session incredibly moving and it complemented their History learning about Civil Rights and 20th Century Conflict effectively.

The webcast was designed to have them learn more, and reflect on, the holocaust after Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) on Saturday the 27th of January.  The 27th of January marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp and the theme of this year’s HMD was the fragility of freedom.

Hedi Argent was born in 1929, and lived in a suburb of Vienna in Austria, the anti-Jewish laws and backlash that accompanied Hitler’s annexation of Austria in 1938 were something Hedi remembers very well.  She remembers seeing Jews being made to scrub the pavements and having stones thrown at them. Hedi’s family arrived in England in 1939 and stayed in a safe house.  After the war, Hedi and her parents wrote to the Red Cross to try and find their extended family; they found out that most of their other family members in Europe had been murdered during the Holocaust.

The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust encourages remembrance in a world scarred by genocide, they promote and support Holocaust Memorial Day  to remember the 6 million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, alongside the millions of people murdered under Nazi persecution of other groups and during more recent genocides. 

Nicola Keeler and Georgina Reid Co Headteachers at Marine Academy Primary said: “It’s really important for children to learn about the Holocaust and understand the history of our society.  It is of course a sensitive topic, but children are resilient, and it was helpful for them to hear Hedi Argent’s inspiring story, which they clearly found incredibly moving.”

Moira Marder, CEO of the Ted Wragg Multi-Academy Trust said: “It’s only right for schools to take action to mark Holocaust Memorial Day and I was glad to hear that Marine Academy Primary made sure to educate their children about this in a sensitive and reflective manner.”