Learning about the Holocaust from a survivor

Published: 22 November 2017

Year 10 had the honour of listening to the testimony of WWII refugee Lady Milena Grenfell-Baines this week. 

Her incredible story tells of how aged 9 she was placed on a train with her 3-year-old sister and transported to England to escape the forthcoming occupation of Czechoslovakia with the Nazis.  On arrival, they were placed with a kind family in Ashton-Under-Lyne, who even moved their daughter into the home of the grandparents so that Milena and her sister were kept together.  Fortunately, her mother and father also managed to escape and as they relocated in the North West of England, Lady Grenfell-Baines talked about how welcoming everyone had been and how strange white bread and tea with milk had seemed at first!  

During the 90-minute talk, the students heard how Lady Milena since found out that she was one of the 669 children who Sir Nicholas Winton arranged the safe transportation of when he heard the plight of those who were targeted by the Nazis.

The thoughtful questions, positive responses and huge wave of emotion are a testament to how powerful the day was.  It gave everyone involved a lot to think about, from the need to forgive, to stand up when you see something wrong happening, the great value of immigration and the need to study such awful events.  I am sure this is an experience that many students will never forget.