Students from Tarporley High School and Sixth Form College have heard first-hand from a woman who fled the Nazis during the Holocaust.
The Year 9 pupils welcomed Lady Milena Grenfell-Baines MBE to their school, as part of a visit organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET).
Lady Milena was born in Czechoslovakia in 1929. Her father was recommended to leave Czechoslovakia the day before the Nazis invaded because he was both Jewish and a supporter of an anti-Nazi author. He was able to escape but left his wife and children.
At the age of nine she and her younger sister Eva left Prague on a special train to London, arranged by Nicholas Winton, who saved 669 children in this way. Lady Milena and her sister were cared for by a local family until their mother was able to arrive one year later, having escaped via Norway.
The testimony was followed by a question and answer session to enable students to better understand the nature of the Holocaust and to explore its lessons in more depth.
The visit was part of the trust’s extensive all year round Outreach Programme, which is available to schools across the UK.
Headteacher Sarah Lee said: “It is a privilege for us to welcome Lady Milena Grenfell-Baines MBE to our school and her 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 Lady Milena’s testimony, it will encourage our students to learn from the lessons of the Holocaust and make a positive difference in their own lives.”
Chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust Karen Pollock MBE added: “The Holocaust Educational Trust educates and engages students from across the UK, from all communities about the Holocaust and there can be no better way than through the first-hand testimony of a survivor. Lady Milena’s story is one of tremendous courage during horrific circumstances and by hearing her 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.”