Bingley Grammar School

07.07.22

Arek & Jean Hersh Visit 2022

On Monday 4th July we welcomed Holocaust Survivor Arek Hersh and his wife Jean back into school.

Miss Shah writes;

It was an absolute privilege to have our friends Arek and Jean Hersh, back in school speaking to students for the first time in over two years. 

Arek and Jean had lunch with Chair of Governors David Mann, along with our Anne Frank ambassadors, Mabel Wilson, Safiyah Khan, Sara Sharif, Emma Wilkins and Isabelle Oates. They were joined by Anne Frank Tour guides, Eva Child-Clewes, Izzy Woods, Jacob Lumb and Year 7 students Phoebe Harrison-Cove and Harry Wilkinson. The students presented Arek and Jean with a number of thoughtful gifts including a book with photos of Arek and Jean over the years at Bingley Grammar as well as messages from students and teachers who have met Arek and Jean. Arek was also gifted KitKats, a KitKat cake and KitKat cookies as it is his favourite chocolate! Arek and Jean were also presented with a frame with a quote from Anne Frank's diary and what the students have learnt from it. Mabel gifted Arek and Jean a copy of the 75th Anniversary brochure from the Anne Frank Trust and showed them the page where she has given an interview about her role as an Anne Frank Ambassador. Phoebe spoke to Arek and Jean about her visit to the Lake District holocaust project and what she learnt from it. 

Arek and Jean then gave a talk to a group of students in Year 8 followed by questions from the students. The students heard Arek's harrowing story and were shocked at what he went through as an 11 year old boy during WWII.

Arek spoke in great detail about his time in Auschwitz and the death trains and how his entire family (81 members) was wiped out by the Nazis. Arek was liberated by the Russian Army in 1945 and was brought to live in the Lake District with 300 other Jewish children.

It was so wonderful to have Arek and Jean back in school after so long. It is always such an honour to hear Arek's story first hand and his and Jean's message of the importance of kindness and respect for one another. I would also like to say a huge well done to the students who listened to Arek and Jean's talk and to those who had lunch and spoke with Arek and Jean. You are an absolute credit to Bingley Grammar school. 

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