Our final Shine session of the year took place last week, with Prof. Bill Niven & Amy Williams joining over 45 pupils who made the fantastic effort to attend after school.
Both Bill and Amy work as historians researching the Holocaust and in particular how it is remembered at Nottingham Trent University. They focused on a particular event during the Holocaust, the Kindertransport. The Kindertransport was the agreed movement of German Jewish people from all over Germany to countries like Britain, France and the Netherlands.
Amy and Bill gave a fantastic oversight into the journey these young people faced, and finished with the Kinder arriving at their final destinations. However, Amy and Bill were keen to stress this was not the end for most. Some Kinder found themselves in less than friendly settings and struggled to adapt with racism within communities. Likewise, other Kinder were then evacuated following the extensive bombing of Britain during the 1940s and hence, the Kinder story is far more complex than the current perception within the media.
Amy and Bill discussed this concept, but looked at memorials across the world. In Britain our memorials are very much about the rescue but seem to ignore the darkest experiences of the Kinder, such as internment camps, while in Britain. Whereas, while Germany still remembers the Kinder, the focus there is very much on those who found themselves on trains to the death camps, rather than the safety of neighbouring European countries.
It was a real thought-provoking talk and Humanities are excited to be working with Amy & Bill next academic year. Pupils will be invited to support researching local Kinder stories (as many found refuge in Birmingham) and then creating a memorial/commemoration to this process.
What an incredible final history shine session that was all about Kindertransport. Really intriguing to find out about what had actually happened. Thank you to Amy and the History Department this year for putting on this amazing SHINE session.
Ethan (Year 9)