Kindertransport Talk from Ernest Hirsch
On 27th February of this year, we were priviliged to welcome to the school Mr Ernest Hirsch, who gave a talk to some of our Sixth Form students about his experiences as a child refugee from Nazi Germany.
Thulani Maseko writes:
Often when we study a subject in school, be it a particular time period in History or the workings of the universe, we can very easily forget how amazing and influential these things are. What we read on the pages of a text book, other people have lived and discovered. Being given the opportunity to meet the people whose stories make up our syllabuses is a reminder of just how extraordinary people and their lives can be, and is an opportunity the AS English class has been fortunate to receive.
Mr Hirsch was one of 10,000 Jewish children brought to the UK as part of the rescue misson in the late 1930's known as the Kindertransport. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Mr Hirsch was his response when asked about his feelings towards those responisble for the tearing apart of his family, the death of his mother and the suffering of his country and people. He had forgiven them. Over the years he had come to realise that a full life is not one which is burdened with hatred and vengeance. If it weren't for the openess and acceptance he experienced from the people he met, he would not have the happy memories to counter the tragic ones. This positivity and forgiveness was both moving and enlightening.
It must be acknowledged that not all the children brought to Britain were as fortunate as Mr Hirsch. However, while many remian traumatised and angry, Mr Hirsch reminds us that we can recover from our past and though we must recognise its importance, not let it hold us back from progress and happiness.