Buchan pupils mark Holocaust Memorial Day with projects

Pupils across Aberdeenshire are prepared projects and assemblies to mark Holocaust Memorial Day last Tuesday.

Holocaust Memorial Day takes place annually in the UK and a number of other countries on January 27.

It gives everyone the opportunity to pause to remember the millions of people who died or whose lives were changed beyond recognition as a result of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides around the world.

Assemblies were held at academies in Mintlaw, Fraserburgh, Turriff, Banff, Stonehaven, Banchory, Aboyne and Inverurie.

As well as events at schools, a range of displays including photos of drama work, monologues, survivor stories and quotes from pupils involved were exhibited at some of Aberdeenshire Council’s offices.

Council employees were able to view the exhibitions at Woodhill House, Gordon House, St Leornard’s in Banff and the Buchan area Office in Peterheado

Two pupils from Mintlaw Academy, Fiona Park and Ainsley Morrison, visited Auschwitz as part of the Holocaust Educational Trust’s ‘Lessons from Auschwitz’ programme.

Ainsley said: “When we arrived at Auschwitz, we were guided through some displays of items, including piles of shoes and clothes, which were all removed from prisoners as they entered the camp. We also saw photographs of some of the victims of the camp.

“This was very poignant as I was able to see lots of the different faces of the Holocaust.”

Fiona noted: “You really can’t appreciate the largeness of the camp until you see it for yourself.

“It’s very easy to just think of the numbers but it’s harder to think about the fact that every one of those numbers represents a single person with their own stories, families, goals, dreams and lives.”

Ainsley continued: “The trip was very interesting and a good opportunity to have been able to have been given a chance to go on. I am going to keep the memory alive by giving assemblies at my school about what I learned on the trip.”

Fiona concluded: “I think that the Holocaust is something that everyone needs to know about.

“The whole trip was definitely something that I will always remember and will always pass on my knowledge about.I also think that anyone who gets the opportunity to go should go.”