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Candles recall horrors of war at Auschwitz

CANDLES were created by Bognor Regis students to keep alive the memory of the Holocaust.


Real candles were decorated by sixth formers at The Regis School and paper versions were used by younger pupils ready for a whole school assembly earlier this month. Representatives from each tutor group were photographed with the artwork.


Year 12 student Chloe Hughes said: “From this, we hope every student developed a greater understanding of the Holocaust itself and also broke down the wall of the Holocaust being a large statistic of 11 million dying within such events to seeing an insight into individual stories and lives. We hope students will realise how the people within the Holocaust are just like us.”


The remembrance followed a one-day trip to Poland on which Chloe was joined by her fellow 17-year-old student, Caitlin Smith, to visit two concentration camps.


They spent time in Auschwitz 1 and Auschwitz Birkenau as well as the town of Oswiecim on a visit arranged by the Holocaust Educational Trust.


“We were selected from other candidates to attend this programme, which included two seminars in London, as well as the trip to Poland.


“In these seminars, we heard from a Holocaust survivor, Rudi Oppenheimer, as well as doing lots of activities within groups in order to extend our knowledge of the Holocaust prior to the trip, allowing us to gain a greater insight upon the day.


“Our second seminar allowed us to discuss in our group how the trip made us feel and then what we were going to take from the experience and do next back at our schools, as this trip bought people together from all over the south of the UK.”


Throughout January, Chloe and Caitlin presented assemblies to all of the pupils at The Regis School, together with Diane Willson, who chairs its governors.


These sessions saw them talk about Rudi’s story, about the German persecutor Rudolf Hess and the ‘humanisation’ of him to try and break down the walls and stigma between monsters and victims. Mrs Willson also spoke about her feelings of the experience.


“Following up from the assemblies, we ran a whole school tutor activity to reflect what we previously talked about,” added Chloe.


“Each house was given a presentation which reflected a survivor of the Holocaust.”


From this, the tutor groups decorated their candles.

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