Bloomfield Collegiate School welcomes survivor from the Holocaust Educational Trust
History and Religious Education students from Bloomfield Collegiate School heard vivid testimony from Holocaust survivor, Janine Webber, as part of a visit organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET).
Her harrowing story was followed by a question and answer session that enabled students to better understand the nature of the Holocaust and to explore its lessons in more depth. The visit was part of the Holocaust Educational Trust’s extensive all year round Outreach Programme.
Jonathan Waterworth, Head of History at Bloomfield said: “It is a privilege for us to welcome Janine Webber BEM to our school and her testimony will remain a powerful reminder of the horrors so many experienced. We are grateful to the Holocaust Educational Trust for co-ordinating the visit and we hope that by hearing Janine’s testimony, it will encourage our students to learn from the lessons of the Holocaust and make a positive difference in their own lives.”
About Janine Webber BEM
Janine was born in Lwow, Poland in 1932. Persecution of Jews in Lwow started very quickly after its German occupation in 1941. Janine and her family were forced to move to an area on the outside of town in preparation for the establishment of a ghetto. On hearing that there would be a Nazi raid one day, Janine, her mother, and her brother hid in a hole that had been dug under the wardrobe. The Nazis discovered the other members of her family and her father was shot and he and her brother were deported to a concentration camp.
Janine was moved to the ghetto and her uncle was able to find her a non-Jewish family outside of the ghetto who were prepared to hide her. She then went to live with another family with her brother but one day the Polish daughter of the family brought home an SS officer so she was forced to flee. Her brother was killed by the SS officer. She managed to find work as a shepherdess where she remained until the family she was living with learnt of her Jewish identity.
Janine’s aunt had given her the name and address of a Polish man, Edek who was the caretaker of a convent in Lwow and she went to him and hid in the attic of a building where she was reunited with her aunt, uncle and 12 other Jews in hiding. Janine’s aunt managed to obtain fake papers for her and she was taken to a convent.
6 months after the end of the war, Janine’s aunt returned for her. Together, they left for Paris. In 1956, Janine came to England to improve her English where she met and married her husband. Today, Janine still lives in London and regularly shares her testimony with schoolchildren.
The Holocaust Educational Trust’s Ambassador Programme: Following on from their involvement in the Lessons from Auschwitz Project, participants become Holocaust Educational Trust Ambassadors – people who are committed to educating others about the Holocaust and its contemporary relevance. Ambassadors have been invested with the responsibility for delivering a powerful message about what happened during the Holocaust to their peers and wider communities. To mark our 25th anniversary, the Trust appointed Regional Ambassadors, who have all shown outstanding commitment to ensuring that the lessons of the Holocaust are not forgotten – their role is to coordinate and encourage the work of Ambassadors in their area. They now work with 65 Regional Ambassadors representing every region in the UK.