The Ministry of Equality organised a Learning From Auschwitz talk which took place last week at the King’s Bastion Leisure Cinema. This talk was presented by Mr Arek Hersh, a Holocaust survivor and Mr Mike Levy, a Holocaust Education advisor. The event was extremely successful and was sold out. All proceeds from ticket sales went to local charity Learning From Auschwitz.
The event was opened by Minister for Equality, Samantha Sacramento, who was followed by Naomi Hassan-Weisfogel from Learning From Auschwitz. The event also included a short speech by Melanie Trinidad, a Westside School student and also a poem by Giron Asquez, a Bayside School student, both of whom went on the school visit to Auschwitz earlier this year.
Arek Hersh, who is now 89 years old, was just 11 when he was abducted by the Nazis when the Second World War broke out. He was taken to different concentration camps, including Auschwitz, and managed to survive them all. Mr Hersh wrote a book about his experiences of the Holocaust, “A Detail of History”, and also talks about his experience in schools, universities and other organisations.
Mike Levy is a Holocaust Education advisor and trains teachers on how to deliver the message of the Holocaust and what can be learnt from it to students of different age groups. Mr Levy also holds a fellowship in Holocaust Education with the Imperial War Museum.
In addition to the public talk, Mr Hersh and Mr Levy also addressed comprehensive school children, and furthermore, Mr Levy also worked with teachers on the teaching of the Holocaust.
Minister Sacramento said: “The Holocaust was the end product of antisemitism by a small group of people who managed to get into power and grow their hatred. Antisemitism and any hatred for another race can start very easily if people let it happen. We do not want an atrocity like the Holocaust to ever happen again and by looking at the past and reminding us of these lessons, I want to do everything in our power to stop any risk of it from starting as much as possible. We can give them a future by remembering them, and there is no better way to remember the victims of the Holocaust and there is no better way of remembering it than hearing it from someone who lived it.
“I am very pleased to say that the turnout for this event has been exceptional, it goes to show that people in Gibraltar are interested in the subject and want to learn from it. After the talk, people approached me to tell me that they had found it very moving and that it was an eye opener. I am extremely grateful to Arek Hersh and Mike Levy for travelling to Gibraltar to deliver the talks, as well as Melanie Trinidad and Giron Asquez for their presentations and finally to the charity Learning From Auswitz for organising the educational trips and everybody else involved in organising this event.”