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Extra Curricular Activities  >  Mr Rudi Oppenheimer BEM visits Twycross House School.

Mr Rudi Oppenheimer BEM visits Twycross House School.

RudiOn February 28th we were lucky to have Rudi Oppenheimer come and visit the school to talk about his experience; surviving the Holocaust under the Nazis. Students in S3 have been studying the Holocaust in history as well as the story of Anne Frank in English. GCSE and A Level students study the Nazi German state as part of their course, and this opportunity was sought through the Holocaust Education Trust. Mr Oppenheimer spoke for nearly two hours on his experience as a young Jewish boy and his families’ experience of moving from Germany to Holland and England before being sent to Bergen-Belsen Concentration camp. We discovered that Rudi and his family were treated as ‘ exchange Jews’ and suffered slightly less (at times) than other encamped Jews because their younger sister was born in England; this was viewed as a useful commodity by the Germans for future prisoner exchanges.  Rudi spoke about the fact that having a job in the kitchen kept his mind occupied, as well as giving him the opportunity to keep a little of the food back for himself which actually saved him! Sadly Rudi’s parents lost their lives in this camp, but Rudi and his brother Paul and sister Eva eventually escaped as the war ended and they travelled back to England to start a new life. 

Meeting Mr Oppenheimer was an experience we will never forget and students and staff felt lucky to have heard Rudi speak and to reflect on one of the 20th century’s most evil, inhumane and terrifying times. When questions were posed to Mr Oppenheimer about his desire to keep telling his story he replied ‘So we do not forget and so we hopefully do not repeat such terrible acts.’  Students in S3 described their own experience of hearing Rudi speak with their own reflections; students summarised their experience as being ‘insightful’

moving’ and finally stated that it left them feeling ‘honoured.’ 

Written by Isabelle Fellows and Grace Phillips, S3 

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