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We must never forget horrors of the Holocaust
STUDENTS at Newent Community School and firefighters from Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service joined together at the school to commemorate National Holocaust Memorial Day.
The theme of this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day was about building bridges with different communities, and the Newent School was chosen as the Gloucestershire host for the thought-provoking event on Monday.
Mike Wycherley, director of the school’s sixth form, said: “Our year 11 GCSE drama students made a bridge with the past by researching the words and voices of holocaust survivors.
“Each student selected an account that personally moved them and they memorised the words to keep the voices and memories of the past alive.”
The students also created a sound and art installation, inspired by the work of Christian Boltanski, a French artist with a Jewish heritage, using discarded clothes to evoke memories of those who died.
Mr Wycherley added: “We commissioned one of our students to write a piece of music especially for this event and invited a student from the National Star College, which hosted last year’s memorial, to come along and read a poem she wrote.
“The students at the National Star College also made a baton last year which they have passed on to us.
“Our head boy, Tim Owen, will in turn pass this baton on to Severn Vale School, which is hosting next year’s event.”
In remembrance of all the victims of the Holocaust and other genocides throughout the world, there was a reading of the Jewish prayer of mourning, the Kaddish, followed by a minute’s silence.
Headteacher Jane Steele said: “We were extremely honoured this time last year when we were approached the county to pick up the baton from the National Star College and host the 2013 Holocaust Memorial Day.
“This is an extremely important day in the school’s calendar.
“Staff, students and governors have come together to organise this prestigious event.
Coun Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for communities in the Forest of Dean, said: “The Holocaust was a defining event of the 20th century and one which should never be forgotten.
“I’m pleased that Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service is working with students and staff to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day.
“It is important that future generations understand the causes of the Holocaust and reflect upon its consequences.”