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Pengam pupils hear inspirational words of Holocaust Survivor

Posted on : 16 May 2018

Pengam pupils hear inspirational words of Holocaust Survivor
Pengam pupils hear inspirational words of Holocaust Survivor

Pupils at Lewis School Pengam received a visit from Holocaust Survivor Joanna Millan, who spoke of how Jewish Persecution during the Second World War affected her family, and how it changed her life forever. 
Pupils heard how Joanna was born Bela Rosenthal to a Jewish family in August 1942 in Berlin. At the end of February 1943, her father was taken from the streets of Berlin and sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau where he was murdered on arrival. Later that year, in June, she and her mother were taken from their home and sent to the Theresienstadt Ghetto.

At the camp her mother contracted tuberculosis, leaving her orphaned and alone. Joanna spoke of how help from adults within the camp saved her and other children’s lives before the camp was liberated by the Red Cross on 3 May 1945. Pupils heard how Joanna settled in Britain following the war with a new life and identity, however she has not forgotten her past and spent many years of her adult life tracing her family history and sharing her experiences during the Holocaust.
Cllr. Philippa Marsden, Cabinet Member for Education & Achievement said: “I would like to thank Joanna Millan for taking the time to speak to the pupils of Lewis School Pengam. I’m sure that hearing the words of somebody whose entire life has been affected by the Holocaust will be of great benefit to their studies. I hope this experience will also act as a poignant reminder about the important role we all play in our communities and society in order to ensure everybody has the right, and is able to, live their life without the fear of persecution.” 
Head Teacher Chris Parry, said: “It is a privilege for us to welcome Joanna Millan 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 Joanna’s testimony, it will encourage our students to learn from the lessons of the Holocaust and make a positive difference in their own lives.”
Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust 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. Joanna’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.”

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