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30 November 2016

Sixth Form Hears from Holocaust Survivor

At a recent Friday afternoon Horizon Lecture, our Sixth Form were privileged to hear the testimony of a Holocaust survivor.

Henri Obtsfeld was born in 1940 to a Jewish family at the time of the German occupation in Holland. ‘Called up’ at age of two to labour for the Nazis, his parents took the brave decision to put him in the care of virtual strangers – to keep him safe – in another part of the country. While in hiding, almost starving to death in the attic of a primary school in Amsterdam, Henri was raised by his foster family, narrowly avoiding harm in the Battle of Arnhem.

This was a deeply moving account and our pupils raised some well-considered questions:

‘Was your Jewish faith challenged by the experience’?

‘Did you feel that some local people were too complicit in the action of the Nazis’?

Further information about Henri’s experience, and that of other child survivors of the Holocaust, can be found in We Remember, a book we also have on display in our school library.

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