Strode’s College students were given a powerful reminder regarding the importance of democracy and tolerance with a visit from Rudi Oppenheimer, a Holocaust survivor and the notorious Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
Over 80 students came to hear Rudi’s very moving story which linked to the Power of Words, the theme for this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day. Commenting on why he continues to give these important talks, which are believed to now be in the 1000s, he said: “We still haven’t learnt the lessons of it from history and of course there are new youngsters coming through all the time who need to hear what happened. Hopefully, when they are older they will do something about it.”
Explaining how the Holocaust Memorial Day theme is particularly topical Bernadette Joslin Assistant Principal Student Services said: “Rudi’s talk really helps focus students’ minds on how the spoken and written words of individuals, corporations, community organisers or the state can have a huge impact. Hearing Rudi share his experiences of surviving the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where approximately 50,000 people suffered and died, was very moving and many students remained at the end to speak to Rudi.”
The talk was part of the College’s work to promote British Values across the campus to embed the importance of mutual respect, to promote diversity and to encourage an understanding of the other cultures where these values are not recognised or respected.