Holocaust Memorial Day

On Thursday, January 26, the students were joined by members of the community in reflecting on genocides past. Following this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day theme, ‘How can life go on?’, pupils and teachers presented their personal perspectives to this question in a highly emotional and enlightening evening.

The school’s deputy head boy and Holocaust Memorial Day Trust Youth Champion, Will Durrant, told The GEM: “It is of vital importance to reflect on the Holocaust, as its legacy continues in today’s society – in Europe and in Cowbridge.

“From films like Schindler’s List, to the poetry of Leonard Cohen, to the fact that the places in which millions upon millions of humans were killed are still standing, there is a constant warning to every community, including ours, that racially-driven politics is deadly and dangerous.

“But in Cowbridge, Holocaust Memorial Day extended beyond this bleak reminder. Our community has celebrated the simple fact that life will go on, which is demonstrated by survivor testimonies and the rights that we enjoy today.

“As well as furthering Holocaust and Rights education, the speakers presented their reflections on Auschwitz and the theme ‘How can life go on?’

“We concluded that, for some survivors, life continues with both guilt and responsibility; in the words of Witness Wells in Session 23 of the Eichmann Trial, ‘We have a responsibility, somehow, to withstand persecution and to be alive’.

“This is a message to us all that life can go on if we overcome oppressive politics and exercise our human rights as part of these events.

“More importantly, however, we realised that it is always possible for life to go on, and that maybe, as a community, we will excel with love.

“Finally, we would like to extend a huge thanks and congratulations to everyone who took part in the organisation of the event, including Cerys Baker, Dan Taylor, the History Department of Cowbridge Comprehensive School, Ioan Wardhaugh, Lowri Morgan, Genevieve Kirk, Harriet Utley and Rhiannon Bailey.

We would also like to thank Jane Hutt AM for her support and attendance at the event, and the community, who donated £85.35 to the Welsh Refugee Council.”

Article: Cowbridge Gem, Thursday 2nd February 2017.

With thanks to the Glamorgan Gem for their continued support of the school. Pictures: Will Durrant & Harriet Utley, pupils. To see the HMDT Wall of Life, click here.