Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony at Harlow College

Education: Secondary / Thu 29th Jan 2015 at 03:07pm

Holocaust Harlow 2By Siobhan Wood

Photo courtesy of Harlow College

HARLOW College marked Holocaust Memorial Day with a ceremony to dedicate artwork created by Visual Arts students.

Harlow MP Robert Halfon led the ceremony in memory of Holocaust victims, which was attended by staff, students and the public, and there was a reading by Rabbi Irit Shillor.

The memorial was designed by Anna Winter, 18, of Harlow, who is studying the BTEC Extended Diploma in Art and Design at the College.

Anna led a project in 2013 where her classmates created the parts and tiles which were baked in the College kiln.

Waiyen Wu, 18, of Harlow, also on the Art and Design course, made the tracks for the memorial.

Waiyen said: “It means a lot to us that we can be a part of it, to think about them and remember them.”

Mr Halfon said: “It was wonderful to be able to commemorate this day at Harlow College and it was incredible that so many students came voluntarily.

“To see the students’ work in the memorial garden and to commemorate it is very special to me because I have a Jewish background and I had family in Bergen-Belsen.”

The students chose meaningful things to be represented on the memorial.

Anna said: “I went to Berlin and they’ve got a huge memorial to all the people that died in the Holocaust.

“While I was in there I found this poem on the floor and I thought it would be a really good thing to put on.”

Speaking of one of the ceramic tiles, Councillor Muriel Jolles said: “It’s exactly the same as a genuine relic of the shoes that were taken off the children who were stripped of everything before they were gassed; it’s in Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.

“When I saw it this morning it made me well up.”

Duncan Craig, College Chaplain, saw the students develop the idea for the Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony.

Mr Craig said: “In the students’ own ethos and vision they have created a memorial room, a tree of life, which is actually a moment where they can make a connection from this generation to a generation that was wiped out of history.”

The Visual Arts students created the Memorial Tree so visitors can attach one of a thousand names representing children and young people who lost their lives.

Harlow Town Chaplain, Robert Findlay, said: “In the display in the faith room they see the appalling things that have happened and as you come to the door on the way out it says: ‘You are free to leave,’ and when you think of all those people who were not free to leave, we can count our blessings as well as remember the tragedy that happened in the past.”

Deputy Principal Paul Marsh said: “Trying to understand what we were commemorating is quite a powerful thing.

“As one or two of the speakers said, we are very fortunate we live in a free country where we are at liberty to be ourselves and for people in the holocaust that was taken away from them.”

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