It is not easy to write a letter as a Holocaust survivor when you are only 14 years old and this is 2013, but students from Tadcaster Grammar School did just that as part of a competition.
Their accounts are both poignant and deeply moving and the winners are deserving of their prizes and accolades.
The competition was open to all Year 9 students following a half term of work between History and RE looking at the Holocaust. In January the whole year group visited the museum and memorial gardens at the Holocaust Memorial Centre in Nottingham. They also heard first-hand an account from a Holocaust survivor.
Using all the evidence gained over the term to explain their experiences, students were then asked to write a letter as a Holocaust survivor and reflect on the impact that the Holocaust may have had on their faith and belief in God.
First place went to Bethan Williams, with Harry Bowden coming second and joint third going to Isla Pollock and Austin Clavane.
“You have many privileged moments when teaching, and judging the letters in this year’s competition was certainly one of those moments,” said Ros Knapton, Head of Humanities Team. “The overall quality of writing was outstanding. The students had really taken on board all their researched information, but more than this they had understood the feelings and emotions of the survivors as they listened to their stories, demonstrating high levels of empathy,” she added. “It is essential our young people remember and respect the memories of all those who lost their lives in the Holocaust and those who survived and by entering this competition our students have proved how important this is.”