Eva Clarke Holocaust Visit

JACK HUNT SCHOOL WELCOMES SURVIVOR FROM THE

HOLOCAUST EDUCATIONAL TRUST

On Thursday 11 October, Jack Hunt School welcomed Eva Clarke to talk to Year 10 students about her experiences of the holocaust. Eva is a holocaust survivor who works with the Holocaust Educational Trust, travelling all over the country to share her testimony with young people.

Eva’s account of being born in a concentration camp was deeply moving and shocking. The message that came through was a powerful one: we must be vigilant against prejudice and remain open minded about people who are different to ourselves. We must live with tolerance and a desire for understanding if we are to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past.

Eva’s powerful testimony left many students appalled and indignant that civilised human beings could do this to people living within their own communities. Some Year 10s who had not previously signed up to the Pledge Against Prejudice did so immediately after the event, purchasing Pledge pins to further our fund raising efforts for The Aegis Trust and their work to overcome prejudice through education programmes in places as far afield as Rwanda in Africa.

Jack Hunt School would like to thank the Holocaust Educational Trust for the privilege of hearing Eva’s testimony. This is the fourth year our Year 10 students have had the honour of meeting a holocaust survivor and hearing first hand testimony of this tragic period of history. In previous years, Jack Hunt School has hosted Zigi Shipper and it was an honour to welcome Eva Clarke to Jack Hunt School for the first time. We are very grateful to the Holocaust Educational Trust for co-ordinating the visit and we hope that by listening to Eva’s testimony, students will reflect on 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. Eva’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.”

About Eva Clarke

Eva was born in the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria, on 29th April 1945. In December 1941, Eva’s parents were sent to Terezin, a ghetto just outside Prague. Eva’s parents were young and strong and therefore able to work. This ensured that they stayed there for three years. Despite the sexes being separated, Anna fell pregnant. The couple were forced to sign a document stating that when the baby was born, it would have to be handed over to the Gestapo to be killed. When he was born, Anna’s son, Dan, was not taken by the Gestapo but died of pneumonia when he was two months old.

In 1944, Eva’s father was deported from Terezin and Anna, unaware of the final destination, chose to follow him the next day, despite being pregnant for a second time – this time with Eva. Anna arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau on 1st October 1944. As her pregnancy was not yet visible, Anna was selected for slave labour near Dresden. She remained there for six months, getting weaker by the day whilst becoming more visibly pregnant, which was very dangerous.

Anna never saw her husband again. She discovered after the war that he had been shot on 18th January 1945, just over a week before the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau by the Russian army. As the Nazis retreated, Eva’s mother and her fellow prisoners were forced onto a train evacuating them from Freiberg

The train arrived at Mauthausen concentration camp on 29th April 1945. Anna had such a shock when she saw the name of this notorious camp that she went into labour and without any type of medical assistance Eva was born on an open cart. The American army liberated the camp three days after Eva’s birth.

After the war, in February 1948, Eva and her mother returned to Prague, where Anna married Eva’s stepfather and in the same year they immigrated to the UK. In 1968, Eva married a lawyer, and today has two sons. She speaks regularly at schools about her mother’s experiences.

Holocaust Educational Trust

The Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) was established in 1988 to educate young people from every ethnic background about the Holocaust and the important lessons to be learned for today. HET works in schools, universities and in the community to raise awareness and understanding of the Holocaust, providing teacher training, an Outreach Programme for schools, teaching aids and resource materials. Among HET’s earliest achievements was ensuring that the Holocaust formed part of the National Curriculum for History. Since 2005 the Holocaust Educational Trust has received Government funding for its flagship Lessons from Auschwitz Project, which gives two young people from every school and college in the country the opportunity to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau. HET also played a crucial role in the establishment of Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK and continues to play a key role in the delivery of this national commemorative event.

HET’s activities include:

  • The Outreach Programme is a central part of HET’s work and gives students and teachers the opportunity to hear survivor testimony firsthand – the impact of hearing a survivor speak is something most people never forget and is a key feature of HET’s approach to this subject. The Programme is free of charge and enables young people to hear and talk to survivors. It also allows them to take part in focused workshops designed and delivered by HET educators.
  • Think Equal has been devised specifically for schools in areas of racial tension. Working with staff in schools HET educators deliver teacher training to enable staff to devise workshops for their students focusing on the dangers of racism and discrimination and the contemporary lessons to be drawn from the Holocaust.  As part of the project, students are also given the opportunity to hear a Holocaust survivor speak. 
  • Lessons from Auschwitz Project: HET’s Lessons from Auschwitz Project for post-16 students and teachers is now in its twelfth year and has taken over 10,000 students and teachers from across the UK to Auschwitz-Birkenau, as well as many MPs and other guests. The four-part course incorporates a one-day visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau. The visits, combined with Orientation and Follow-up seminars, leave an unforgettable emotional and educational mark on participants. The Project aims to increase knowledge and understanding of the Holocaust based on the premise that ‘hearing is not like seeing’ and to signal what can happen if prejudice and racism become acceptable.

In November 2005, the Treasury announced funding of £1.5 million for HET to support its Lessons from Auschwitz Project. The funding has enabled HET to facilitate visits to Auschwitz-Birkenau for two students from every school and college in the UK. Since 2006 the Project has received Government funding. commitment to support the HET which the last government gave is one we are proud to be able to continue with.”

  • Teacher training: HET plays a leading role in training teachers on how best to teach the Holocaust and delivers teacher training to both trainee teachers at universities and institutions of higher education and to practising teachers as part of their Continuing Professional Development.  This year the Trust also launched its Teacher Study Visit programme. The first Teacher Study Visit in February 2011 took 25 teachers from across the UK on an intensive four-day CPD course in Berlin, Germany. There participants had were given the opportunity to expand their knowledge and understanding through visits to lesser known authentic sites and workshop sessions with international Holocaust education experts.
  • Recollections: Eyewitnesses Remember the Holocaust: HET has produced a BAFTA award-winning DVD-ROM Recollections: Eyewitnesses Remember the Holocaust, in conjunction with the USC Shoah Foundation Institute. The groundbreaking interactive teaching resource integrates testimony from 18 eyewitnesses of the Holocaust, including Jewish, Roma, Sinti and Jehovah’s Witness survivors as well as political prisoners and testimony from survivors of the eugenics programme.