The Ministry for Equality have announced that it has organised an evening talk open to the public by Mr Arek Hersh, a Holocaust and Auschwitz survivor and Mr Mike Levy, a Holocaust Education advisor on the 7th December 2017 at 6.30pm at the King’s Bastion Leisure Cinema.
Arek Hersh was born in Poland and during the Second World War, when just 11 years old, he was taken away from his family by the Nazis. Throughout the war, he managed to survive the three camps he was sent to, including Auschwitz. Only 40 people from his home town survived the war. Mr Hersh did not speak about his experiences until 1995, when he wrote a book, “A Detail of History”. He now talks about his experiences of the Holocaust at schools, universities and other organisations.
Mike Levy has considerable experience in educating about the Holocaust. This includes training teachers on how to present the terrible facts of the Holocaust, as well as the important message of learning from the lessons of the past, to schoolchildren of different age groups. Mr Levy also holds a fellowship in Holocaust Education with the Imperial War Museum.
The idea for the visit stemmed from Minister Sacramento’s visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau in July this year. She was invited by the Learning From Auschwitz charity and she along with a group of local secondary school children visited a number of sites, including the Auschwitz concentration camp, where it is estimated that at least 1.1 million people died during World War 2. It was here where they heard Mr Hersh talk about his experiences in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp and how he had managed to survive the holocaust and took the group to the concentration camp and relayed his personal experience, that Minister Sacramento decided to ask Mr Hersh to give a talk in Gibraltar.
While in Gibraltar, Mr Hersh and Mr Levy have also been engaged to speak to school children and their teachers and teach them about the Holocaust and Holocaust learning.
Minister Sacramento said “This will be a great opportunity for the people of Gibraltar to directly hear the testimony from someone who actually lived through this atrocity. What happened in Auschwitz and in other concentration camps during the Second World War shows the lengths evil people will go to when they have opposing and conflicting views of others who are different to them and when there is no one there to stop them. As ￼Edmund Burke famously said “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Antisemitism and racism is something that unfortunately still happens very often and needs to be prevented from developing in the first place, if not, as can still be seen nowadays in other parts of the world, this results in genocides. We must remind ourselves of what happened and what is happening and learn from this in order to prevent it happening in the future, the message that we want to give is not only about the prevention of antisemitism and racism, but also of acceptance of those who are different to us in one way or another.”
Tickets will be priced at £5 and can be purchased online at www.buytickets.gi and at the John Mackintosh Hall ticket office. All proceeds will go to the Learning From Auschwitz charity.